I Want to Change

Pastor Rick posed the question, “How does real life change happen?” In the following Scriptures and reflections let’s focus on his urging that relationship and connection with the person, Jesus Christ is foundational for transformation into being more like Jesus.

Monday – John 15.1-4. Vine. Branches. Remain. Abide. Fruit. Being by nature an impatient people, we tend to look for quick results. But how long does it take a strawberry to ripen from a bloom to a red delicious fruit? A while. How does it ripen? By staying connected to the plant that provides what is needed for fruit to ripen. Jesus says transformation is possible and quite natural as we stay connected to him. Today, let the focus of your prayers throughout the day be: “What can I do in the next ten minutes to connect with Jesus?”

Tuesday – John 15.5-10. Jan Johnson writes: “Abiding in Christ’s love creates an obedience because deep devotion to Jesus gives us the desire to obey and sustains us when we otherwise might have second thoughts.” This abiding life of “absolute dependence and perfect confidence occurs because a branch is of the very same nature as the vine and has one life and spirit with it.” (Andrew Murray)

Wednesday – Colossians 3.15-17. “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly,” Paul instructs. For transformation of character to happen in our lives, Paul knows that God is not just an add on to our lives. We invite the Word, Jesus, his teaching, his heart, and his character to dwell in us and reshape our thinking. Notice that three times in this short passage, Paul mentions being thankful as being a fruit of dwelling in Christ. Take 10 minutes and write down how you are thankful for Jesus Christ. Make it personal, and express your gratitude to him.

Thursday – Psalm 51.10-12. David wrote this psalm in repentance for sins he had committed, having received a strong word from God through the prophet Nathan. Inviting God to speak to us about difficult things is vital for his transforming grace to be effective in changing us. Give God permission to say difficult truths to you today, promising that you won’t beat yourself up but put your trust in God to create new life in you as you surrender to his will and obey.

Friday – Zephaniah 3.17. As you think about the history of the people of Israel, it’s easy to recognize how deeply they had grieved God who had done so much for them. Yet God still saw them with a heart of love, and was longing to restore them. And so it is with us. As we read this passage of promise, it’s easy to think, “that’s for someone else.” What if you are included in his delight and his love, so much that the thought of you has him singing a song of joy? If he takes such delight in you, would a good response be to let such a loving God be your Lord, even today?

Saturday – Mark 10.46-52. If Jesus posed the same question to you that he asked blind Bartimaeus, how would you respond? Do you have a desire to be transformed into someone who is more like Jesus? N.T. Wright urges us to “not come with a fixed idea of who God is, and try to fit Jesus into that. Look at Jesus, the Jesus that wept at the tomb of his friend, the one who washed his followers’ feet, and you’ll see who is the true God.” The Jesus we meet in the gospels is our best clue about what God is like. It is his desire and intent to do a transformative work in our lives. How do you respond to Jesus’ inquiry, “What do you want me to do for you?”