Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Real Transformation

2 Corinthians 5:17

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!

RayMcDLast night in the Men’s Bible study we were talking about real transformation – the real change that comes over us when we receive Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. From time to time – shows appear on TV that seem to be popular. Shows like Extreme Makeover or Strong or Biggest Losers appeal to the general population because we like to believe – given the right circumstances – we can all become better than we are right now. We can lose the weight – we can reshape our appearance – we can have a better home and a better life. If nothing else – we can get lost in the fantasy of someone else’s transformation and wish it were really about our lives.

From time to time – most of us – looking back on the life choices that have led us to where we find ourselves – most of us would make a few changes. We often hear people say – if I had it all to do over again I wouldn’t change a thing – but in reality – most of us would change some things.

From time to time – have we ever thought of taking a different career path? Have we ever thought about living in a different part of the country or even a different part of the world? Have we ever regretted choices we have made? I bet the answer to that is a resounding YES for many of us.

From time to time – have we thought about making changes to our lives? Have we ever thought – or dreamed about being someone else – someone different? As a child I dreamed of being Boog Powell of the Baltimore Orioles. I hit left-handed – even though I was a right-hander (until I became a switch hitter) like Boog and played some first base (until I was moved to pitcher and shortstop). I often fanaticized late at night – all by myself – playing basketball on the basket over our garage – of being Earl the Pearl Monroe of the Baltimore Bullets – or that I was actually playing alongside him with Wes Unseld rebounding and throwing us the ball (as the ball would bounce off the garage) (kids can dream some crazy dreams).

In today’s passage we read about a transformation not based in fantasy – but rather based on our Lord and Savior – Jesus. Here is today’s passage in partial context. 2 Corinthians 5:11–21 – 11 Since, then, we know what it is to fear the Lord, we try to persuade others. What we are is plain to God, and I hope it is also plain to your conscience. 12 We are not trying to commend ourselves to you again, but are giving you an opportunity to take pride in us, so that you can answer those who take pride in what is seen rather than in what is in the heart. 13 If we are “out of our mind,” as some say, it is for God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you. 14 For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. 15 And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again. 16 So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! 18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. 21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

Not only are we called to be transformed after the likeness of Christ – we are called into a ministry of transformation for others – a ministry of reconciliation. We are called to be the ambassadors – the instruments of transformation for the world around us. We are called to convince others of the need to be changed to be more like Christ. We are called to be instruments in the reconciliation of our lives to Christ and the lives of others. This is not fantasy! This is real! This is eternal! This is real life transformation!

Before the year ends – are there relationships in our lives that need this transforming power? Are there habits we need to release to God and have victory over? Are there attitudes we are holding onto that need the transforming power of God to help us rebuke? Is there a need for some transforming power in our lives? If so – let’s turn our hearts to Christ and be transformed.

Just something for us to think about today as you go on your way.


December 14, 2016 - Posted by | Advent Thought, Build, Christmas, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Missions, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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