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Trust the Transformation

I recently had the privilege of meeting with a young man (I will call him Steve) who had been through a transformational moment in his life. He grew up in a Christian environment and was friendly toward Jesus. I would describe him as one of those guys who waves to Jesus. They like Jesus and they speak kindly of Him but they want to keep Him at a comfortable distance because they aren’t ready to yield to His leadership. Then it happened. He was confronted with the reality of his life and his need for a Savior. He became deeply aware of his personal inadequacies and wanted to find something better than what he had been experiencing. As God so often does, He brought along an individual at the right time to invite Steve to a Bible study and the change began.
My friend gave himself wholeheartedly to the process of growth and he discovered what he had heard others talk about. The Bible came alive for him. It seemed every time he read something, it was meant directly for him. Every story had application for his life today. Prayer began to be a conversation between him and his Savior rather than a religious exercise. His goals in life somehow shifted from self-centered pursuits to serving others.
It was clear to me that God’s hand of favor is upon this young man and that a plan is developing. This young man is being groomed for some position of influence. There is a group of people who need the kind of leadership Steve is capable of and he is being equipped to be their leader. In time, all of us who know him will understand it but right now it simply looks like enthusiasm.
For many, it will be hard to accept the legitimacy of the transformation because they remember his earlier years. I even had the opportunity to meet one of his friends and gave a short report of what was going on. His friend’s face twisted in surprise as he blurted out, “Steve? Really? I would have never expected that from him.”
People had a similar reaction to Jesus in Luke 4. Jesus grew up in Nazareth. He was a child there. He was a teenager there. He was a young man beginning his career there. Then He turned 30 and his public ministry began. “He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom.” (v. 16) As part of His ministry, He read from the book of Isaiah and gave His commentary. At first, “All spoke well of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his lips.” But then they got to thinking, “Isn’t this Joseph’s son?” (v. 22)
Unfortunately, they couldn’t get past their memory of Him as a child. Rather than recognize that Jesus had transitioned from the preparation phase to the action phase, they limited His influence in their lives.
It is a great challenge to each of us. It is hard to judge from childhood, and even the teen years, who someone will be as an adult. May god give us all the grace to trust in the transformation He does in the lives of the people we are surrounded by.

2 Responses

  1. Good reminder Bill. This especially encouraged me in the Journey of raising my teenager. Thank God people trusted the transformation in my life. God’s plan is the best plan..Thx bro!

  2. This reminds me of my father. He remembered all the things we offspring did, and locked us in those character categories. Even when we were in our 50s, he still called up our younger indiscretions and sins. Thank the Lord that He has forgiven and forgotten.

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