“Have done, then, with impurity and every other evil which touches the lives of others, and humbly accept the message that God has sown in your hearts, and which can save your souls. Don’t I beg you, only hear the message, but put it into practice; otherwise you are merely deluding yourselves. The man who simply hears and does nothing about it is like a man catching the reflection of his own face in a mirror. He sees himself, it is true, but he goes on with whatever he was doing without the slightest recollection of what sort of person he saw in the mirror. But the man who looks into the perfect mirror of God’s law, the law of liberty (or freedom), and makes a habit of so doing, is not the man who sees and forgets. He puts that law into practice and he wins true happiness.”
I am working on 2 transformation projects right now. My wife and I bought a house in 2006, we loved the house, everything about it, but we have not stopped making changes to it.
The second project I am working on is a 57 Chevy truck that I affectionately call Rusty. Since I was given him i have been in the process of making him better.
As for the house, on our first tour my wife said, “I even like the room colors!” And since then we have painted every room in the house, some more than once.
Rusty was modified from being a 2-Tom flatbed into being a 1/2 ton pickup. I have been in the slow process of making him the best I can. In the early stages I wouldn’t let myself buy another part or piece until I had the last part or piece that I bought installed. I gave up on that and now I have a back log of little projects.
When I came to Jesus I was more like Rusty than our house. I was broken. Jesus accepted me just as I was. He didn’t require me to clean up or shape up or behave better. His gift of salvation was free and freely given.
There’s a verse that the apostle Paul wrote in Romans 5 that makes me happy weepy every time i read it.
“You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! Not only is this so, but we also boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.”
I am God’s project. He received me as a broken down human with a truck load of issues and problems. He has slowly been working on me and in me. I have to participate in this process for it to work. On the day i was saved the Holy Spirit took up
Residence in me. I see him as this smart young energetic very positive and solution oriented engineer walking around in my head and my heart with his crisp white shirt and tie, hard hat and safety glasses, carrying a clipboard and making notes on how he can turn my mess into something useful for expanding God’s kingdom. My part in this is reading God’s word, to see what life CAN be, and to listen to and obey God’s Holy Spirit when he says “this can change, we can make this better.”
God’s word has the power to change lives. Starting with my own. I can choose to read it, agree with it and yet not let it change me. OR I can read it, believe it and let it become a change order on the project list that the Holy Spirit keeps on his clipboard. My choice.
Anyone reading this has the same invitation from Jesus, to be forgiven and welcomed into God’s family, and will then begin the restoration of your life.
As I write this it’s Sunday morning and I’m getting ready for church. Another avenue of change is to be connected to and submitted to a group of Christian believers. The Holy Spirit that is resident in them can also speak to us to encourage, direct and guide us.
It’s a process. Will you join me, join us?