Summary: Part 7 (and final) of The SPIRIT-led Lifestyle. Zaccheus, everyone’s favorite "wee little man", gives us a wonderful testimony about the transforming power of Jesus.
The SPIRIT-led Lifestyle
S = Significance
P = Potential
I = Initimacy
R = Relevance
I = Illumination
T = Transformation
For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are children of God.
Part 7: Transformation: True Evidence of Christ
In the first Spiderman movie, Peter Parker is attempting to woo his one true love, Mary Jane, and finds himself in a situation where he is trying to express to her how he really feels. In one scene, he relates an imaginary encounter with his alter-ego in order to find the courage to tell Mary Jane how he really feels about her.
Peter searches for the right words; "I said, um, ’Spider-Man,’ I said, ’the great thing about M.J. is when you look in her eyes, and she looks back in yours, everything feels not quite normal, because you feel strong——and weak at the same time. You feel excited, and at the same time terrified. The truth is you don’t know the way you feel, except you know the kind of man you want to be. It’s as if you’ve reached the unreachable, and you weren’t ready for it.’
We’ve all met a girl who did that to us, if only for a few moments. Today I want to challenge you to look into the eyes of Jesus, what do you see? How do those eyes make you feel? Imagine you’re a man with a past, and here He comes. You climb a tree to get a better view of Him, and He notices you! You look into those Holy Eyes, and they look right back at you, into you, through you. Would you not leave that event changed forever? Let’s think of our favorite wee little man and how one look from Jesus changed his life forever.
The Reason Zaccheus climbed the tree: His yearning for Transformation
The Three Proofs of Zaccheus’ transformation:
1 His selfishness changed to generosity
2. His conniving changed to confession
3. His degeneration changed to restoration
Seven Proofs of Transformation in Your Life
1. I talk to, not just about, Jesus.
2. I can identify a sin whose control is weakening in my life.
3. I am becoming more obedient and submissive to authority.
4. I have a confidence that allows me to sacrifice.
5. I see God working in my closest relationships.
6. I risk rejection for what is right.
7. I can tell you about prayers answered in the last 3 months.
The Three Keys Steps For Transformation:
1. Do something undignified– Admit you need Him
2. Do something uncomfortable– Leave your lifestyle
3. Do something unashamed – Believe in Him
For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth... Romans 1:16
The Testament, novelist John Grisham paints a portrait of one man’s surrender to God’s will. Nate O’Reilly is a disgraced corporate attorney plagued by alcoholism and drug abuse. After two marriages, four detox programs, and a serious bout with dengue fever, Nate acknowledges his need for God. Grisham describes the transformation:
With both hands, he clenched the back of the pew in front of him. He repeated the list, mumbling softly every weakness and flaw and affliction and evil that plagued him. He confessed them all. In one long glorious acknowledgment of failure, he laid himself bare before God. He held nothing back. He unloaded enough burdens to crush any three men, and when he finally finished Nate had tears in his eyes. "I’m sorry," he whispered to God. "Please, help me."
As quickly as the fever had left his body, he felt the baggage leave his soul. With one gentle brush of the hand, his slate had been wiped clean. He breathed a massive sigh of relief, but his pulse was racing.
Almost everyone who met Jesus was transformed.
The only ones who weren’t, crucified Him.