Summary: God's desire is for us to be conformed to His Son. This is our goal in life. Transformation takes place when we CHOOSE it and when we COOPERATE with God for it. It is intentional and spiritual.
[Some thoughts adapted from Max Lucado's book 'Just Like Jesus'.]
Makeovers are the IN thing today. People from all walks of life are trying to look better.
• There is a reality TV programme called “Extreme Makeover” that shows ordinary men and women undergoing ‘makeovers’ – changing their looks through hairstyling, make-up and clothing, or exercise regimens and even plastic surgery.
• Each episode ends with the participants' return to their families and friends, showing the reactions of their loved ones, who were not allowed to see the incremental changes during the period of absence.
• We also had a local show called “Home Makeover” where designers and renovators work together to transform actual homes, usually homes of the poor and marginalised. The new looks can really surprise the family.
God is also in the makeover business.
• His kind of makeover is extreme – He takes the very worst of who we are, heals and restores us to become just like Jesus on this earth.
• We are made into a NEW creation (2 Cor 5:17), but this is just the start. He is transforming us from the INSIDE out.
• In order words, if you do not like what you see on the OUTSIDE – your behaviour, attitude or conduct - we need to ask God to show us what is happening on the INSIDE.
• Something is keeping you from being all you are called to be. This is the objective of this series – an examination of our heart.
God works on the INSIDE. Men can only work on the OUTSIDE. God fashions your heart.
• It is not enough for Him to own you; He wants to change you.
• If the Lord dwells in our heart, then He will beautify the place and decorate it up. After all, this is His house. No expense is spared, no corners are cut.
• He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. (cf. Phil 1:6)
God loves you just the way you are, but He refuses to leave you that way. He wants you to be JUST LIKE JESUS.
• This might explain why we are facing challenges and experiencing some discomfort in your life – you are a ‘work-in-progress’.
• Remodelling of the heart is not pleasant. Any surgery is a discomfort.
SEEING THE DENTIST
C.S. Lewis relates, “When I was a child, I often had a toothache, and I knew that if I went to my mother, she would give me something which would deaden the pain for that night and let me get to sleep. But I did not go to my mother - at least not till the pain became very bad.
And the reason I did not go was this: I did not doubt she would give me the aspirin; but I knew she would also do something else. I knew she would take me to the dentist the next morning. I could not get what I wanted out of her without getting something more, which I did not want. I wanted immediate relief from my pain; but I could not get it without having my teeth set permanently right. And I knew those dentists; I knew they would start fiddling about with all sorts of other teeth which had not yet begun to ache.”
Our Lord is like the dentist. Many go to Him to be cured of some particular problem. We want a simple aspirin and quick relief of pain.
• Yes, God will cure the problem, but He will not stop there. God is not content to simply remove the pain.
• He wants to deal with the true problem – your heart. And He will not be finished until we are fully “conformed to the likeness of His Son.” (Rom 8:29). The verse says we are predestined for this.
• Your Creator is remaking you into the image of Christ. This is His desire.
SO IMAGINE THIS WITH ME - for one day, Jesus was to become you.
• For the next 24 hours, Jesus wakes up in your bed, walks in your shoes, lives in your house, and assumes your schedule? Your lecturer becomes his lecturer, your boss becomes his boss, and your stress becomes his stress?
• Nothing in your life is different. Your body is the same. Your circumstances remain unchanged. Your problems are still there. BUT ONE THING IS CHANGED – YOU HAVE TAKEN ON CHRIST’S HEART.
• Jesus lives your life WITH HIS HEART. Your life is directed by the heart of Christ.
• His priorities govern your actions. His passions drive your decisions. His love directs your behaviour.
What would it be like? What would YOU be like? Would people notice a change? Will your family see something new? Your colleagues – would they sense a difference?