This morning we talked about how the world gives us the expectation to see change and improvement. But the change that God seeks to do in us is not visible or tangible like our shiny new phones or #transformationtuesday Instagrams.
May the striving cease. May contentment reign. And may joy abound at what God has done and is doing. Here’s an excerpt from the Son’s cry in John 17:1-26 to the Father before His death:
“But now I come to You; and these things I speak in the world so that they may have My joy made full in themselves. I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I do not ask You to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in truth; Your word is truth. As You sent me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. For their sakes I sanctify Myself that they themselves also may be sanctified in truth” (John 17:13-19).
There is just so much in that prayer of Jesus’ that I need to remember, to remind my heart of when the world hates me or tries to make me want its pleasures and temptations, when it attempts to confuse me about what is truth, and what “improvement” looks like. Below is another passage to help us think about that:
Take five or ten minutes reading through, praying through, and meditating on this passage. Take it slow, thinking about each statement. Sometimes that’s enough. Sometimes questions help us to do the same thing (read, pray, meditate, slow down, and think clearer); so we’ve provided some questions below, in case they help you:
— what does Paul tell the Corinthians to not be deceived about?
— when Paul says “and such were some of you,” does that mean those Corinthians are disqualified from inheriting the kingdom of God?
— how did God make provision for unrighteousness?
— what does the transformation process look like?
— which identity (9-10 vs. 11) should the Corinthians hold onto?
Takeaway: Heart work has already happened. You are not who you once were. From the moment of your salvation you stopped being the the person you were. With Christ you were given a new heart of flesh with which you no longer desired what you used to. I am sure that you can look back in your life right now and see the things that God has done in your life to mold and shape your heart to become more like his (even if that looks like crushing what your heart was currently doing/desiring).
Praying for you,
Zachary Lim & the Transform Team