Thursday, February 25, 2016

Transformation Time

"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."
Romans 12:2 (NKJV)

Metamorphosis is the biological process of change that takes place in the life of an animal or insect.  This process of transformation is something that occurs naturally as an animal or insect matures into adulthood.  If there were no change, no metamorphosis, then something would be wrong.  This process of transformation can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks depending on the animal or insect, but no matter the length of time that is involved the important thing is that the transformation does take place.

The English word metamorphosis comes from a Greek word and it was that same Greek word that Paul used in Romans 12:2 when he talked about believers being transformed by the renewing of their mind.  This transformation is a normal process that happens when a Christian grows and develops spiritually.  How long this process of transformation takes depends on the person, for some the changes may happen faster than for others.  Someone looking at the process from the outside may not notice that any changes are taking place at the time, but a transformation is happening.

There are areas in all of our lives that need to be changed and developed, we need to be transformed into who and what God wants us to be.  This process is necessary for us to mature into spiritual adulthood and if no changes are taking place then something is wrong.  Paul talked about being transformed by the renewing of our mind, which means we line up our thinking and our lifestyle with what we see in the Bible.  As we do our part in the transformation process by reading, studying, and doing Gods' Word we will find a metamorphosis taking place in our life.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Are You Ill-Equipped?

"All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 
that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work."
2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NKJV)

Years ago I worked in a factory.  There were several things I was responsible for there and one of those things was some light maintenance.  When I first started to work at this company I did not have any tools to use so I was not prepared to do the work required of me.  As I took the position where I was responsible for some maintenance work, I needed to buy some tools and a tool belt; I had to go to the store that sold the proper equipment and get that equipment.  Without the right tools I was ill-equipped and no matter how committed or sincere I was I could not do my job.

When Paul wrote his second letter to Timothy, Paul told Timothy about how profitable God's Word is, it is beneficial in many ways.  Paul went on to say that God's Word will make us complete and equip us to do every good work that God has planned for us.  By looking at this verse in a little different way we get the idea that if we are lacking something, if we are not properly equipped to do what we are doing for God, then a lack of God's Word may be our problem.  If we are struggling in our Christian life it could be that we are ill-equipped, we need more of God's Word.

We may love God and want to do our best for Him but without a thorough understanding of God's Word we will not have what we really need to do God's will.  Too many Christians are under developed spiritually and when they face a challenging situation in their life they are not prepared to deal with it and failure is the result.  God has given us His Word to equip us and prepare us for the life He has called us to lead; we need to be sure we are spending time reading and studying His Word to be developed and properly equipped to do the will of God.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Our Real Battlefield

"For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against rules of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places."
Ephesians 6:12 (NKJV)

There are several elements necessary for a soldier or a military force of any size to be successful.  One thing that is needed are the proper weapons.  The soldier or military force also needs to be properly trained.  Sending anyone into a battle or any type of a hostile situation without the necessary equipment and training would almost certainly guarantee failure.  But, even if a soldier or military force has all of the things they need to go into battle and succeed they will still fail if they are not in the right location.  To win the victory they have to be in the right place to fight the right battle.

The Bible makes it very clear that we have an enemy and that we will face challenges in life.  It is a mistake to think that as Christians we will never have problems.  It is also a mistake to think that the problems we deal with in life are purely natural.  This does not mean that everything we face in life is some demonic problem, but we can be trying to fight our battles on the wrong battlefield.  God has shown us in His Word that our enemy, the devil, comes to steal, kill, and destroy.  He will do everything that he can to hinder us and cause problems for us as we follow God and live a godly life.

God shows us in the Bible that we have been given authority through Jesus and we have been equipped with all that we will need to deal successfully with the devil and anything he tries to do.  But, if we think that our problems are just from some current social situation, a political party, or from other people we will be putting our time and effort into fighting the wrong battle on the wrong battlefield.  By using our God given authority and focusing on our real enemy we will always fight a winning battle.  We need to know our authority and understand how to use the equipment that God has given to us.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

You Are A Superhero

"Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father."
John 14:12 (NKJV)

When I was younger I used to read about different kinds of superheroes.  They all had different super powers with some being able to fly, change shapes, breathe underwater, and so on.  The one thing that they all had in common was that they were not common, they were different than the rest of society.  Whenever some problem came along the regular, common people were all looking for a super hero to save them.  The people could not do those things for themselves since they were not the superhero with super powers, without the superhero there was no hope.

Some people look at Jesus as a superhero and think that we are nothing like Him.  They think that everything Jesus did while He was on the earth was done by Him because He was and is the Son of God.  But Jesus came to the earth to live as a man (Philippians 2:5-8) and Acts 10:38 tells us that Jesus was anointed by God to do the works that He did.  Jesus was successful because He worked with the Holy Spirit.  Jesus did not just come to be a superhero for us but to be our example; the same Holy Spirit who empowered Jesus now empowers us!

Jesus said in John 14:12 that His followers could do the same works that He did, and even greater works! Jesus said they could do this because He was going to leave; this is significant because once Jesus returned to heaven He sent the Holy Spirit to live in us.  Many Christians do not understand this and whenever there is a problem they are looking for Jesus to do something, not realizing that because of Jesus we have what we need to deal with any and every situation that comes our way.  Don't see yourself as just some common person any more, see yourself as a superhero called by God to help others.  We can walk in the power of the Holy Spirit just like Jesus did.