Summary: Think about the one thing in yourself that you would most like to see changed before you get too old. Or better, what would those closest to you say that they would like to see changed in your life?
About 30 years ago, I started to see poems and prayers pop up on my mom’s refrigerator. They read something like this: “Lord, don’t me become a mean old woman. Help me become sweeter and sweeter as I grow older and older.”
I called her yesterday and asked her about those poems and prayers. My mom is 81 now. She said, “I’ll have to send you something new I have on the fridge.” I asked, “What’s it say?” “Well, I can’t quote it exactly. But it says something like, ‘When I mess up don’t let my kids treat me bad.’” I laughed, “So, now that you’ve become this mean old woman that you didn’t want to become, you don’t want us to be mean back, right?”
She just laughed. I love to hear my mom’s laugh. She’s not a mean old woman. She had a stroke a few years ago and is pretty much shut down on her left side. Her face is drawn. She said she went to the doctor and found out that she has arthritis in her back. So, she’s in pain sitting, standing, or lying down. But she still laughs.
Why the prayers and the poems about not becoming a mean old woman? Why the urgency? It’s because she’s seen a lot of crabby older people in her life. I read a quote this past week, “Old age puts more wrinkles in our minds than on our faces. We rarely see a soul that in growing old does not come to smell sour and musty.”
Why do some people grow sour instead of sweet? Why do some people grow sweet instead of sour? Is it just their basic personality? Their environment? Genetics? Am I doomed to grow sweet or sour no matter what?
God says that we’re not doomed. God says that we can truly change. God says that we can actually become more loving and joyful and peaceful. This glory He has? He wants to share it with us!
Think about the one thing in yourself that you would most like to see changed before you get too old. Or better, what would those closest to you say that they would like to see changed in your life?
God’s goal is to make us better, not bitter. He is out to completely transform us.
Look at the front of your worship guide. Next week, we begin a new series: Pierced. Use this to invite a friend or family member. We’ll be looking at Isaiah 53.
Today, let’s wrap up our study form II Corinthians 3:18.
And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.
II Corinthians 3:18 (ESV)
In week one in our series, we looked at “Where change begins…” Our focus was this phrase, “And we all, with unveiled face…”
We asked, “What’s it going to take for us to be more and more like Christ? To get more love and joy and peace and gentleness going in our lives?” We discovered that a spiritual veil has to be removed. So, we need to pray something like this: “God change me from being heard-headed and dark-hearted to a person whose mind is soft to Your truth and a person who has a heart that can see Your beauty.”
Two weeks ago, we learned, “How change happens…” The part of the verse we studied was, “Beholding the glory of the Lord.”
Grow up hanging around your mom or dad and you’ll find yourself unconsciously reflecting a thousand of their attitudes and actions. Sometimes, when I’m driving, I look down at my hands and see my dad’s hands. You become like what you look at.
We see and savor the Savior and grow to become like Him. You’ve tried and tried to make yourself better. It’s time to change God’s way. The idea is: “Behold and be like.”
Last week, we saw what to do “When change gets tough…” We thought about what it means to be “transformed into the same image.”
It’s a metamorphosis that God is after in us – a change from the inside out. God wants us to “morph” into walking, talking icons of Jesus.
Today, we’re considering, “What change looks like.” The part of the verse we’ll
examine today is “from one degree of glory to another.” As we think through this phrase, we’ll see more clearly what this change actually looks like. In the Greek the phrase is…
apo doxas eis doxan… from glory into glory. I’m reminded of rock climbing. Rock climbers go from one height to the next, from one hold to the next until they each the top. From glory to glory.