Yes, you can!

Man of Vision tells the story of Bob Pierce, a man who changed the world following the 2nd World War, best known as one of the founders of World Vision and later as president of Samaritan’s Purse. It is a fascinating account of a deeply flawed man who was used tremendously by God in spite of his human failures. Pierce terribly neglected his family and lived a life so out of balance that he subjected himself to repeated seasons of emotional collapse brought on by exhaustion. He relentlessly drove the organization he founded while experiencing constant conflict with the board when they tried to establish sound fiscal controls.

And yet, God used him to bring the Good News of Jesus to millions in Asia as well as to house and feed thousands of orphans by creating a sponsorship program that exists to this day.  His sin was not without consequence. A daughter took her own life. His wife suffered from his anger and neglect.   His marriage failed. While reading this inspired, yet oh so sad story, I found myself in tears as I wondered what greater things he might have done IF he had been willing to accept counsel and find God’s power to transform his temperament completely? 

Christian friend, God will do great things in you and through you.  Do you believe this?  That does not mean you will start a world changing organization or lead thousands but, by His calling and power, we can have a measurable effect on our family, our friends, our town. We cannot even imagine what He can do when hand Him the control of our lives!

 One of my favorite promises in God’s Word is written by Peter under the Spirit’s inspiration. “Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness. Through these He has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.” (2 Peter 1:2-4, NIV)  Go back and re-read those lines!

Have you surrendered to some broken place in your life coming to the conclusion that is just the way it is and change is not possible?  
Do you find yourself full of regret over some part of your life that you know should change but doesn’t, some habit that you just cannot overcome, some self-defeating attitude that takes hold in you?
Does fear, doubt, anger, lust, greed, or insecurity creep up and fill you with darkness in recurring episodes?  

God’s promise is that we can change and we can know fullness of life!

We focus, first, on God, not ourselves.

Transformation is, first and foremost, a work of God’s grace. I believe this with my whole being – that the One who knows us best, loves us most. He does not ask us to build a stellar record of achievement, to get ourselves all cleaned up, to rid ourselves of every flaw before we come to Him. He invites us to come and know Him, to receive His love, just as we are, right where we are. One of the lies that keeps us from knowing change has been around for millennia – “God will love me only when …”  I do better, I stop doing, I become more.  A recurring theme of the Gospel is the love of Jesus for us while we are still living in sin. Accept His love and grace.

We begin to recognize the Spirit’s Presence.

God is present everywhere, speaking to us all the time.  As we, by faith, learn to listen, learn to see His work, we become responsive to Him. As we see the amazing splash of color in a sunset, we turn to the One who paints the sky and we give thanks. God is there. He speaks to us in His word, through times of worship, quietly as we meditate in contemplative prayer, in the dark of the night when we consciously reach for His in prayer. And, as we come to know Him, we are transformed by that friendship with the Holy One!

We practice humility, quick to forgive, ready to receive counsel.

Dying to Self does not come to us without discipline and awareness.  But, what power is released in us when we, having known God’s love and learned to hear His voice, are willing to say, “Yes, Lord!” 

When He causes us to realize that we have hurt another, we choose to seek reconciliation instead of offering excuses.
When someone treads on us instead of rising in vicious self-defense, we choose to trust ourselves to God’s care and we forgive their trespass.
When we find ourselves unable to see the way ahead, we give up bluff and bluster, and receive the counsel of godly friends and the Spirit Himself.

Is this difficult? Yes, it is, but what wonderful change is possible when we accept that we are not the center of our universe and become what Jesus called “poor in spirit.”  (Matthew 5.3)

We live with the knowledge that we are ‘becomers.’

Peter says that we ‘participate in the divine nature.’ We do not become gods, but God, the Spirit, lives in us and changes our sinful nature into a spiritual one. Paul writes that we are”being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” (2 Corinthians 3:18, NIV)  That change begins with the New Birth that comes to us, by faith in Christ, and continues as we ‘keep step with the Spirit.’  When we fall, we do not conclude we are too flawed to be of use to the Lord. We confess our failure, accept His grace, and seek to understand what led us to that fall so we can be changed. In this way we grow to be more like our Savior. It is a process that continues in us to the day when we step from time into eternity.

Yes, you can live like Jesus. Will YOU?

The word from the Word is same passage quoted earlier, this time from a contemporary paraphrase of the Scripture. Pray as you read for insight and then ‘grow on’ for God’s sake.

“Grace and peace to you many times over as you deepen in your experience with God and Jesus, our Master. Everything that goes into a life of pleasing God has been miraculously given to us by getting to know, personally and intimately, the One who invited us to God. The best invitation we ever received! We were also given absolutely terrific promises to pass on to you—your tickets to participation in the life of God after you turned your back on a world corrupted by lust.” (2 Peter 1:2-4, The Message)

Here is a great song that focuses on what is possible when Jesus is our Way!

Way Maker

You are here moving in our midst
I worship You I worship You
You are here working in this place
I worship You I worship You

Way Maker, Miracle Worker, Promise Keeper,
Light in the darkness, my God that is who You are
You are here touching ev’ry heart
I worship You I worship You

You are here healing ev’ry heart
I worship You I worship You
You are here turning lives around
I worship You I worship You

You are here mending ev’ry heart
I worship You yeah I worship You Lord
That is who You are
That is who You are

That is who You are
That is who You are

Even when I don’t see it You’re working
Even when I don’t feel it You’re working
You never stop You never stop working
You never stop You never stop working

Osinachi Kalu Okoro Egbu © 2016 Integrity Music Europe (Admin. by Capitol CMG Publishing (Integrity Music [DC Cook]))

CCLI License # 810055

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