Quiet Moments: In Need of a Makeover?
By Abi May
There are countless people whose lives have been changed by an encounter with Jesus, both within and beyond the context of Bible history.
Paul is often rightly cited as an example of the power of Jesus to transform lives. He was a Pharisee (a member of an ancient Jewish religious group) who was so dead set against the followers of Jesus that he took it upon himself to launch a crusade for their imprisonment and in some cases death. Yet after “seeing the light” on the road to Damascus and his subsequent dramatic conversion, he went on to become one of the principal leaders of early Christianity. He is credited with writing approximately two-thirds of the New Testament’s text and was undoubtedly one of the driving forces behind the evangelism of the non-Jewish world of the time.
That is one outstanding transformation, and just because it is so outstanding, it can easily seem out of reach. Most of us want to improve ourselves, but we might not consider it likely that we could have such a remarkable makeover. After all, how many of the millions of converts to Christianity each year get their “names in the paper” like Paul, not to speak of the other 2.2 billion Christians alive today?
That’s why looking at some of the other people whom Jesus met can be a little bit more relatable.
There’s the woman with a dubious past who found peace of mind. (See Luke 7:44–50) There’s the tax collector who decided to mend his dishonest ways. (See Luke 19:1–10) There are all the nameless people who were just happy to hear Him speak. (See Luke 8:40) There’s the lady who stood up straight for the first time in 18 years. (See Luke 13:11–13) Even Thomas, whose analytical mind was often a barrier, discovered true faith at the touch of the risen Savior. (See John 20:28)
God’s makeovers happen in ways big and small. “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.” (2 Corinthians 5:17) The new creation doesn’t usually happen at once, but the more we live in Him day by day, the further we go toward reaching our potential.
Dear Lord, help me to dwell in You day-by-day, so that in turn You will work in me and help me become ever more like You.
Turning Dreams into Reality
By Keith Phillips
To one degree or another, just about all of us are unsatisfied with ourselves and our circumstances—and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. A certain amount of dissatisfaction is necessary if we’re ever going to make progress. To become all that we can be, we must dream of being more than we are. The problem is, too many of us stop there, in the dream stage. Why do you suppose that is?
More often than not, it’s because we don’t think we have what it takes to turn our dreams into reality. And we’re usually right about that. We can make some changes by sheer willpower or working harder, like reaching a new sales quota or dropping a dress or pants size. But what about the bigger changes, the changes inside that we know would make us so much happier and enable us to truly make a difference in our corner of the world? It’s that kind of change that is usually most elusive.
We’re not good enough, we tell ourselves. We have too many flaws and make too many mistakes. It’s just not in us!
Jesus summed it up so simply when He said, “With men it is impossible, but not with God; for with God all things are possible.” (Mark 10:27) The secret lies in putting ourselves in God’s hands and letting Him do the impossible for us and through us and sometimes in spite of us. We’re small, weak, and incapable, but there is a very big and strong and capable God just waiting to help us.
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