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Romans 12:2 (NLT) says, “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”
As a Christ follower the New Year shouldn’t be any different than the other 364 days in the year. Our goal should be to daily become more like the person that God created us to become.
As a Christ follower you and I should have a leg up in the discussion of goal setting and transformation. I mean we serve a God who is in the business of transformation. We have a written record of much of the history of God’s transforming work and power in the lives of His people.
All throughout the New Testament we see Jesus offering people a transformational opportunity. Jesus asked the disciples to walk away from everything they knew and to follow Him around the countryside. He wasn’t offering a part time job to the disciples. He wasn’t offering a few activities on the weekends. He wasn’t offering a club membership. He was offering a life altering, radically different, transforming opportunity for them. I love what the Scripture says in regards to the response of the men He asked to follow Him.
Matthew 4:19-20 (NIV) says, “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” At once they left their nets and followed him.”
Mark 2:14 (NIV) says, “As he walked along, he saw Levi son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax collector’s booth. “Follow me,” Jesus told him, and Levi got up and followed him.”
What is going on in these passages? You almost have to wonder if these men that Jesus was approaching really understood what they were being asked to do. Did they really understand that Jesus wasn’t just saying, “Hey follow me, I want to show you something.” Did they really understand that Jesus was inviting them on a life altering, transformative journey?
That’s the same invitation that is extended to you and I as well. Jesus isn’t interested in giving you something to do on the weekends. He isn’t interested in offering you a church membership with all the benefits of small group friendships and songs that you really enjoy singing. He is offering you a life altering, radically different, transformative opportunity and if that’s not what you are currently experiencing in your relationship with Jesus, then you are missing the mark.
Think for a moment about Paul and his Damascus Road experience. You have Saul, the fierce persecutor of Christ followers and Paul the bold, articulate preacher of God’s saving grace. There was a radical difference between Saul and Paul. This wasn’t a surface level change. This was a major transformation. The definition of “transform” is, “to make a thorough or dramatic change in the form, appearance, or character of.” You see it’s appearance yes, but it’s more than that, it’s deeper than just what you see on the surface. It’s a change in the form, it’s a change in the character. Our goals that we’ve set aren’t about just right now, they’re about all year long, for the rest of our lives and the transformation that we should be experiencing.
The results of our goals should lead to people not recognizing you. Has anyone ever questioned who you are because of the radical transformation that you experienced because of Christ? Have you ever walked into a class or a part time job and had all eyes shift and mouths drop because you look like you but you don’t act like you anymore?
- You look like _______________ but you don’t act like _________________ used to act.
- You look like _____________ but you don’t speak like _______________ used to speak.
- You look like __________ but you don’t gossip like ________________ used to gossip.
- You look like ______________ but you don’t gripe like _____________ used to gripe.
You look like you but there is something different about you now. That is what we are called to do.
When you cross paths with Jesus you won’t be able to help but be different. Your life can’t be the same when you truly come into contact with Jesus.
God give me wisdom to know what, where and to whom you are calling me. May our lives forever be changed when we truly interact with Jesus.