Glimpses of grace seen in the everyday

Posts tagged ‘transformation’

Before and After

Many years ago, a certain cosmetic company displayed before-and-after pictures that looked pretty impressive.  On a whim, curious to see how beautiful they could make me look, I presented myself for one of these free makeovers one day while my husband and I were in a mall.

He still has vivid memories of what I looked when I emerged from that place, expressed with phrases like “wicked woman.” “ghastly,” “gave me the creeps.” I didn’t look like his wife! After looking in the mirror, I agreed–it did look horrible.  Making a beeline to the nearest restroom, I washed it all off! 

We find in the Bible several people whom their friends scarcely recognized after Jesus had done his work on them—but, unlike my “makeover,” the results of these encounters were wonderful transformations.

A man born blind, normally seen begging in the streets, suddenly shows up with normal sight.  The neighbors debate about whether this is the same man they knew or a different one.  He excitedly tells them he’s the same man, healed by a man called Jesus.

A man lame from birth, normally found begging at the Temple gate, suddenly shows up inside the temple jumping around and praising God, to the total astonishment of the whole crowd of worshipers.  He had been healed by Peter and John in the power of Jesus.

Saul, who had been terrorizing Christ-followers with imprisonment and murder, suddenly shows up in a Damascus synagogue preaching that “Jesus is the Son of God!”  Astounded worshipers gasped, “Isn’t this the same man who caused such devastation among Jesus’ followers?” But Saul had met Jesus and had been totally turned around.

A dinner guest the other day had the rest of us spellbound as she described the changed lives of the most unlikely people who had come into possession of the Bible in their own language and had been reading it insatiably.  From despair to hope, from a deviant to normal, from fearful to fulfilled, through bereavement, shark attack, and other tragedies, they have been transformed by the power of God.

When I look in the mirror, I see signs of aging.  But my main concern is that my spirit is becoming more and more like Christ as the Holy Spirit is changing me.  (2 Cor. 3:18) 

Are you ready for a makeover from the inside out?  If the Holy Spirit is the one doing beautifying you, you won’t want to wash it off!

Here’s the link for “When Jesus Comes”—a beautiful song about what happens when Jesus comes into a life.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k8-ixOyO0TM

Two on the Fringes of Society

Two men, each on the fringes of society, were stationed along the road one day in Jericho when Jesus passed by.  And they were never the same again.

Both of them wanted to “see” Jesus, but both had a problem.  Bartimaeus couldn’t see Jesus because he was blind.  Zacchaeus couldn’t see Jesus because he was too short to see over the crowds. 

Bartimaeus was destitute, handicapped, pitied, helpless.  But not stupid.  He had heard about this miracle-worker, so when he heard that “Jesus of Nazareth” was passing by, he recognized who this really was:  the Messiah, Son of David!  And this was his big chance.  He was not going to be put off.  “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”  And He did!  Bartimaeus was healed and joined the crowds of excited people following Jesus, praising Him even more because of this miracle.  Bartimaeus’ life was totally changed from that moment. 

As the procession continued through the city, it passed Zacchaeus, a powerful and wealthy man who had two handicaps.  He was short, and everyone hated him!   He had climbed a tree in order to overcome the first of these problems and see Jesus!  This time, it was Jesus who initiated the contact, stopping right under “his” tree and inviting Himself to Zac’s place for dinner, much to his delight!  And the crowd?  They turned from praising Jesus to criticizing Him for associating with a public enemy: a cheating tax collector who had fattened his purse at their expense.  But again, Jesus’ touch on this man’s life completely transformed him.  By the time He left the house, Zacchaeus had been so changed that he vowed to restore four times as much to everyone he had cheated, plus to give half his possessions to the poor. 

Has Jesus’ touch changed your life? 

What happens when Jesus comes?  Listen here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k8-ixOyO0TM

Under Construction

Every day we walk past a house that used to look pretty sad.  But someone had a plan, money, and patience.  As grand structures began to rise behind that wall, we could tell that something major is going on.  Little by little, it’s beginning to resemble the grand and beautiful plan that is now posted outside the gate.

House under construction

I am like that house.  I belong to an Owner who has taken possession of me and is working on me patiently over the long haul until I will someday be just like His blueprint for my life.  While my physical body is showing the effects of age, my spirit is being renewed to be more like Jesus as I submit to His Inner Beauty Treatments.

I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.  (Philippians 1:6)

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