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I have been thinking a lot lately about transformation.  What’s prompting these thoughts are those commercials that suggest that if you use their product your life will change.  They trick your eye and make it seem as if the product has brought about all these remarkable changes.

For example:

  • a commercial for a powder that when added to you water will transform you and your life from dull beige to pretty pastels and your work environment and you co-workers will also change, very much for the better.  Hmm.
  • a liquid product that when added to your water will so utterly transform you that not only does your environment change radically but you, yourself, also change radically.  Taller, shorter, different race, different interests.  Really.
  • a chicken product that when eaten will change you from an ordinary wuss or wimp into a rugged lumberjack.  Come on.

From the beginning advertising has taught the lie that if you just have the right car, the right clothes, the right deodorant, or the right hair color, you will be happy.  Now they seem to be branching out into suggesting that your life can be radically altered and magically transformed with the right product.  Water, no matter what color, or what flavor will not change your life.  Chicken, no matter how spicy, will not transform you into something you are not. 

What will transform us and change us?  What will make a new creation of us?  Nothing we can buy will ever do that for us.  Fortunately for us, we don’t need to purchase a thing.  The very thing that will make new people of us is given to us free of charge.

We have been given the gift of salvation and forgiveness in Christ Jesus.  When we received this gift it was the start of our transformation.  We put off the old nature and put on Christ.  We put away our old way of living and put on the Christ-like graces.

And yet…we all struggle in the journey of spiritual growth.  Like Paul we cry, “For I do not practise the good that I will; but the evil I do not will, that I do.” (Romans 7: 19)   Paul wants us all to know that we don’t need to hold onto that old life.  He assures us that we are no longer in the grip of the evil we don’t want to know in our lives.  

 Paul writes:  

Ephesians 4:24

The Message (MSG)

20-24But that’s no life for you. You learned Christ! My assumption is that you have paid careful attention to him, been well instructed in the truth precisely as we have it in Jesus. Since, then, we do not have the excuse of ignorance, everything—and I do mean everything—connected with that old way of life has to go. It’s rotten through and through. Get rid of it! And then take on an entirely new way of life—a God-fashioned life, a life renewed from the inside and working itself into your conduct as God accurately reproduces his character in you.

An important part of our transformation is that we immerse ourselves in the Spiritual Disciplines, engage in the study of Scripture, converse with God in prayer, celebrate in worship, and serve God’s world in love..As we engage in these things not only do we show how Jesus has changed us, we also continue to change into the person we were created to be.  Once we know Christ, we and our lives will never be the same again.

Paul reminds us:

Now we look inside, and what we see is that anyone united with the Messiah gets a fresh start, is created new. The old life is gone; a new life burgeons!  2 Corinthians 5:  17  MSG

A fresh life!  A fresh start!  The old life is gone!  A new life burgeons!!  Burgeons?

Burgeons….What a happy sounding word.  What does it mean?

The Free Dictionary says this:

1.

a. To put forth new buds, leaves, or greenery; sprout.
b. To begin to grow or blossom.
2. To grow or develop rapidly.
These photos of my daughter’s garden, taken over many weeks indicate the kind of spiritual growth I am talking about.  Change happens quickly and everything changes.
 
 
That new life in Christ will show itself in our lives.  When everything is new and putting out new buds and blossoming we see the marvelous transformation of spring as we come out of the deep cold of winter.  There is hope.  There is promise.  And then when the changes do happen, they happen rapidly.  It’s like time lapse photography where we see the seed push forth a shoot and then a stalk and then a leaf as it grows in front of our eyes.  Holy Spirit filled lives are so transformed that the people around us can see the difference immediately.  
What’s best is that this is real change.  This is more than a new hair style and a new wardrobe, where the changes are merely superficial.  This is Spirit led transformation, where our hearts are renewed and our entire world-view is radically altered.  
Buckle your seat belts people…. it’s about to get bumpy.  
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