Summary: As we allow ourselves to be moved and motivated by God’s amazing tranforming grace, wonderful, life-giving changes occur. Let us learn more about God’s Transforming Grace.
Victor Hugo wrote a great novel, Les Miserables. The novel opens with a young man named John Valjean, who had been unjustly imprisoned for seven years for a small offense. He left the prison with a rage in his soul. In the musical this is portrayed in the opening scenes as Valjean tries to find somewhere to fit in. He can’t fit and he is constantly shunned. As a parolee, he’s treated badly. His anger builds and builds.One night he goes to the home of a monsignor. He is given a meal and invited to spend the night. While everyone is sleeping, Jean Valjean sees some silver candlesticks and cutlery. He steals the cutlery and goes out into the street. The police catch him and bring him back to the monsignor. When the monsignor sees the young man, he sees something no one else sees. He sees Valjean through the eyes of Christ and with the love of Christ. Hence, the monsignor did a very surprising thing. He told the police that he gave the cutlery to Valjean and then he asked Valjean why
he didn’t take the candlesticks, too. Let me read you Victor Hugo’s incredible portrayal of that moving scene. “Jean Valjean was trembling in all his limbs; he took the two candlesticks mechanically, and with wandering looks. Now,’ said the priest, ‘go in peace.’
‘And when you return, my friend, it is unnecessary to pass through the garden, for you can always enter, day or night, by the front door, which is only latched.’ Then, turning to the police, he said, ‘Gentlemen, you can retire.’ - They did so and Valjean looked as if he would faint.The priest walked up to him and said, ‘Never forget that you have promised me to employ this money in becoming an honest man.’ Valjean
who had no recollection of having promised anything stood silent.
Shown grace beyond measure, Valjean made a fresh start and eventually became a wealthy factory owner who promised a dying woman that he would provide for her young daughter. He made good on his promise. Recognizing that Valjean had served his time, the monsignor didn’t hold his past against him. John Valjean was transformed by the grace, the unmerited favor, that the monsignor bestowed upon him. That is exactly what God’s grace is supposed to accomplish
in our lives; transformation. Unfortunately, however, it doesn’t always accomplish such. When it doesn’t then we are guilty of abusing God’s grace. Although we have been saved by God’s grace, that is not its only purpose. God also intends that His grace transform us.
It should change us, making us more and more like Christ.
God loves us too much to leave us as we are.
2 Corinthians 5:17 declares that “IF ANYONE IS IN CHRIST, HE IS A NEW CREATION, THE OLD HAS GONE, THE NEW HAS COME.” When we come to Christ and are saved by grace, this grace ultimately transforms us. Little by little we think and act differently. Speaking of those who have received Christ and experienced God’s saving grace,Romans 8:29 says that God has, “….PREDESTINED THEM TO BECOME CONFORMED TO THE IMAGE OF HIS
SON.” Christ-likeness is God’s desire for each one of us. As we mature in the faith we should reflect