Tuesday, June 16, 2015
Transformed Into His Image
One of the most remarkable things in my life is that Jesus has found a way to transform someone as selfish and narcissistic as I am into someone who occasionally decides to wade into the misery and suffering of other people.
As anyone who knows me – really knows me – can tell you, I am anything but an altruistic person. At heart, I am self-centered, prideful, and mostly uninterested in the lives of other people. I would rather stay home, with the shades drawn and the door shut watching movies or surfing the internet for hours than to get up and venture outside to spend time with people who are struggling or in need.
Some of you might want to counter this scenario by pointing out that I have helped to start a church that meets in a motel every week, or that our family takes free groceries to families in poverty once a month, or that I once spent about a year taking care of an elderly homeless man who was dying from bone cancer. As if this alone was enough evidence that, at heart, I am not selfish and riddled with pride.
No, those details are the grand exceptions. That is not who I really am inside. Rather, that is who I am slowly, sometimes barely becoming, by the Grace of God and the abiding presence of Jesus.
My flesh completely resists this transition. My will is constantly seeking to avoid this change. My heart is quite content to remain complacent and unmoved.
Thankfully, God has given me His Spirit to stir me up. He has provided a wonderful example of selfless love and care in my wife, Wendy. He has surrounded me with a great cloud of witnesses who are much further along in this process of humble service to others.
In spite of myself, God’s plan is to transform me into the image of His Son. One day – by some miracle – I will be made complete in Him. I will be made like Him.
For now, I see as through a glass, darkly, but one day face-to-face.
I know. It sounds crazy, doesn’t it? It sounds impossible; beyond belief.
Me? Like Jesus? Puh-lease!
But seriously, it’s going to happen one day. For now, this miracle is in process as I live and breathe in the here and now.
Even more wonderful is the fact that Jesus is alive within me at this very moment. He is nearer to me than my own heartbeat. He is more real than anything else around me could ever be “real” because He was the One who breathed all of this into existence and none of it would exist without Him.
When I breathe in, Jesus breathes in. When I exhale, Jesus exhales. When I forget myself and extend my hand to share bread, or brush away a tear, Jesus does this, too.
He has made His home in me…and in you…and He wants more than anything else to change the world – this world right here – one heart and life at a time.
Starting with my own life, Jesus is in the glorious process of transforming everything into His new creation. And through me – and through you – He intends to make all things new.
Both in us, and through us, Jesus is alive and well. He is living His life today through each of us who corporately make up His Body.
Even so, we say come Lord Jesus, come.
Have your will and your way in us.
Let your Kingdom come and your will be done.