Change. It’s not always fun.
Some people (like me) do not like change. But, being a true Christian requires change.
These days, the idea of ‘necessary change’ is not popular. There are many who want to claim Christianity without having to actually live a Christ-like lifestyle.
It’s not enough to just claim to believe or say that you’re a Christian. There has to be a change. There should be evidence in your life that you truly follow Jesus. You have to be transformed.
The great news is that Jesus is in the transformation business.
Here are 4 ways Jesus transforms the lives of those who follow Him.
1. Jesus transforms our minds.
Romans 12:2 makes it pretty clear that transformation is a must.
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
Whether we like it or not, our thoughts are shaped by the world we live in. Our cultures and communities influence the way we think. Now, that’s not always a bad thing, but there is a risk of being influenced with attitudes and societal ‘norms’ that have no place in a Christian’s life.
The Church should never be conformed to this world.
We’re strangers here. We’re just passing through.
We can’t think about the things of this life or make decisions based on what’s going on in the world around us. Instead, we should use a filter of God’s Word and the guiding of the Holy Ghost to see and think the way God would have us do.
When we follow Jesus, He changes the way we think.
2. Jesus transforms our desires.
Most people know and love Psalm 37:4, “Delight yourself also in the Lord,
and He shall give you the desires of your heart.”
We all want God to grant us the desires of our hearts. However, when we follow Jesus, He has a way of transforming our desires. Somehow the things we thought we wanted, we don’t want anymore. Material things become less important. Recognition, status, position, fame, and fortune… they’re really not important in light of the Kingdom of God and eternity.
Galatians 5:24 tells us that, “those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.”
And in Matthew 16:24-26 we read, “Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?”
Jesus transforms our worldly desires into desires for Him and His kingdom.
3. Jesus transforms our relationships.
Have you ever noticed that without Jesus, there is a lot more drama in our relationships?
Jesus has a way of transforming the way we interact with others, from our family members to total strangers.
Throughout the Gospels, Jesus commands us to love one another the way He loves us. In Matthew 26:37-38 He tells us that loving our neighbor is the second great commandment.
When we follow Jesus, there’s less drama and a lot more grace and forgiveness.
4. Jesus transforms our purpose.
One of the amazing things about being a follower of Jesus is that the purpose of living is transformed into something so fulfilling!
No longer are we just working to make ends meet or climb a social/economical ladder. No longer are we seeking our worth and purpose in empty places or relationships.
Instead, we know that we are called to be a part of something bigger.
We are working in His Kingdom.
We’re living in a way to bring God glory.
We’re serving others.
We’re making disciples.
According to John 15:16, we’ve been appointed to bear fruit that will last.
In Matthew 28:19-20 we’re given the great commission to go into all the earth, make disciples, baptize them in the Name, and teach the commandments of Jesus.
1 Peter 2:9 says, “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.”
Jesus transforms our purpose into more than we could have ever dreamed and He calls us to do things and go places we never imagined.
Following Jesus = Transformation
My challenge to you is this: If you call yourself a Christian, then take a close look at your thoughts, desires, relationships, and purpose.
Have you allowed Him to transform you?
The process might be a bit painful, but it’s worth it!
Let Jesus transform you life!