Daily Lent Devotional #20 (3/28/2011)

Romans 12: 1-2  (The Message)

“So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.”

“Transformation” is a very tricky topic to preach on or to write about.  We mainly learn by experience what ‘doesn’t work’ as it relates to it, not how to ‘make it happen’.  In Science Class, I learned about the key ingredients that plants need to grow (sunlight, soil, water, nutrients, etc.).   Every type of plant and each specific plant has its own growing (or “transformation”) cycle that is unique to it.  It would be unfair and unwise for me to expect an apple tree, a grape-vine, and a mulberry bush to all grow the same way.  I just need to eliminate anything that would interfere with its natural growth and allow it to grow and change as it was created to.  I don’t force the change.  I can’t create the transformation.  I just do my part to get all that is harmful to growth out-of-the-way.  Jesus works the same way in us.  He helps us change as we remove the clutter from our lives.

To conclude today’s devotional, here’s some thoughts from author Henri Nouwen on this topic.  May it challenge you to connect with Christ consistently and allow him to transform you from the inside-out.  Also, feel free to watch a video that is attached in my Vodpod on this page (“From The Inside Out” by:  Hillsong United) to help you experience this message in a different way.

Jesus came among us as an equal, a brother. He broke down the pyramidal structures of relationship between God and people as well as those among people and offered a new model: the circle, where God lives in full solidarity with the people and the people with one another.

You will not be able to meet Jesus…full of doubts and fears. Jesus came to free you from those bonds and to create in you a space where you can be with him. He wants you to live the freedom of the children of God.

Do not despair, thinking that you cannot change yourself after so many years. Simply enter into the presence of Jesus as you are and ask him to give you a fearless heart where he can be with you. You cannot make yourself different. Jesus came to give you a new heart, a new spirit, a new mind, and a new body. Let him transform you by his love and so enable you to receive his affection for your whole being.

Blessings,

Pastor Josh

Published in: on March 28, 2011 at 6:00 AM  Leave a Comment  
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