"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!" 2 Corinthians 5:17
The changes I've seen during my lifetime have been like a series of small miracles I've come to accept as necessary to my life. My mother-in-law lived to be a hundred-and-one years old and she had many tales of what life was like in times past. Then, change came, and like most of us, she embraced this change.
I must confess I really don't understand how I can push a button and the television, many feet away, lights up and suddenly I'm sitting in my home observing a scene taking place thousands of miles away - how does that work? I can be at the grocery store, and my daughter or grandsons, three thousand miles away, can call my cell phone and we can have a conversation.
I write my blogs in English, but many of my readers translate them into German, Russian, Chinese - and other languages with applications found on the Internet. I can sit at the kitchen table every morning with my iPad and e-mail family and friends while eating breakfast, look up information on DNA, or see what the weather will be like today in Singapore. All, a mystery to me!
My point is this. . .I don't need to have a complete understanding of how everything works to be able to enjoy and benefit from the world of technology. I gratefully accept change and look for the good the Lord has planned to come from it. And yet, I often hear someone say they are not interested in Christianity because they don't understand much about the Bible or who God is, or how faith in Jesus can impact our life. For many, heaven and hell is a veiled secret! Some are simply afraid of the change that may come if they step out in faith and embrace something that they don't completely understand.
This is another of the "Ten Most Important Things About God."
# 7 God changes us.
Many years ago I attended a Bible study and learned that God is personally interested in our daily lives and we can call on Him for help. He alone can provide what we need. Somehow I missed that message while attending church services. God had not yet opened my ears, so I didn't hear spiritual truth. I stood at my kitchen sink one morning and tried to open a jar of jelly. I was so frustrated and there was no one there to help me. Suddenly, the Lord reminded me what the Bible teacher had said - God knows our struggles. I was hesitant to ask for something as mundane as opening a jar of jelly. God has important things to attend to I reasoned, but this was my immediate need. "God, could you please help me open this jar of jelly?" The lid literally flew up into my hand, and I stood there amazed. God heard me and responded to my call for help.
Everything changed that day. I felt a warm sensation flowing through my body and knew God's Spirit had touched my very soul. At that moment, I knew very few Bible verses, I didn't understand theology or Christian doctrine, but I knew this - I had been "born again" - John 3:3 - and was a new person.
DNA - Deoxyribonucleic acid, is the molecule that makes up our genes. This molecule is found in the nucleus of cells and forms a genetic code. Genes carry instructions in this special language to control what cells do. These instructions are like master plans. All living plants and animals use the same genetic code; however, it is the different master plans carried in the code that make every living thing different from all other living things. There is only one, unique YOU.
We often get caught up in a struggle with our heredity. We say something like, "My dad and my grandpa were alcoholics, so that's who I am." Or "my mother and her siblings are depressed people, so I'm going to be depressed too." I've spent many years going to our local jail, speaking to and teaching inmates. Many will tell me that drinking, drugs, stealing, or abusing others came naturally to them; it's what their parents did. Many of us feel we've inherited health issues that we can do nothing about - heart disease, diabetes, breast cancer, to name and few.
When we come into a relationship with the living God, He changes us. We are no longer held captive to inherited traits. God can replace the old DNA and give us spiritual DNA. He alone is the Master that can mold our life. Paul says it this way in Romans 9:20
"Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, 'Why did you make me like this?' "
Jeremiah also writes about a potter and his clay - read Jeremiah 18: verses, 1- 6. The Lord told Jeremiah that we are like clay in the hands of a potter. God is the potter and He molds us for His best use. He changes us for His purpose. Isaiah speaks about things "upside down" as if the potter responded to the clay - Isaiah 29:16. When we become aware that we are a child of God, we see change, big change, sometimes quite suddenly, other times, slowly, but always with great purpose. God has given us spiritual DNA.
As we experience change, we also experience the lack of power to live the Christian life. This is good, because then we know that it is God who is bringing about the change in us; He gets the glory. He has promised to hang in there with us until He comes again.
". . .being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus."
In Galatians 2:20 we read that we have (symbolically) been crucified with Christ and we (the old person) no longer lives, but Christ lives in us and the life we live here in this world, we live by faith in the One who came to love us into an eternal place called heaven. In the Old Testament, Ezekiel, who understood who Jesus was long before He was born in Bethlehem, wrote that God will change you by giving you a new heart and new spirit. . .Ezekiel 36:26. Paul exhorts us in Ephesians 4:24 to "put on your new self."
Often, as we look at our fleshly body, we get discouraged because we don't see the change in us we'd like to see. Don't lose faith, you are a new person in Christ, even when you can't see this to be true. God is busy molding you into the person who will glorify Him. God has a perfect plan and He's never going to lose control.
Thank you Lord that you are able to make great changes in those who love and believe in you. Help us to look at our new self and trust you to get rid of that old person who had no spiritual DNA.
Bobbe Van Hise
- Over the past few years my blog has been visited by people from all over the world. Very few know me, or of me, they simply are looking information concerning the Bible and discover my blog. After many years of intense study and teaching, I've come to believe we are vulnerable to misguided and incorrect teaching if we don't understand for ourselves the teaching of God's Word. My 'hot buttons' are - grace, sovereignty, exhortations and sanctification. If you understand these basic principles of Scripture, and apply them to daily life, you will understand what it means to have peace, joy and absolute security in any circumstance.