This post is a little deeper than most of my posts. But I wanted to share what is on my heart. :)
Last night I was reading 3:16 The Numbers of Hope by Max Lucado in preparation for the Book study I'm leading this fall at my church.
The book is based on John 3:16 (and the entire chapter). Chapter one started with a discussion of Nicodemus' midnight trip to meet Jesus. You know the one, when Jesus presented the idea the idea that you must be "born again". In the study guide, the question was asked, "What does being 'born again' mean to you? Can you explain it to someone who has never heard the term?" My words were: "a fresh start" or "a new beginning".
This morning, I saw something that captured the idea I was looking for: total transformation. Across the street from my office is an Alberston's grocery store with an Albertson's Express (convenience store) in the parking lot. Well, I should say there WAS an Albertson's Express. Because today there was a total transformation, and Albertson's Express was "re-born" as Valero's Corner Store. Each time I drove past, more of the transformation had taken place. The blue gas pumps were replaced with teal ones. The horseshoe shaped bumper to keep you from hitting the pumps are now teal. The signs have been changed--inside and out. What yesterday was an Albertson's Express, is today a Valero's Corner Store. It is still a convenience store. It still sells gas, sodas and lottery tickets. But there is a new owner who has put his own mark or brand on it. The store did not change itself to become a Valero. The store was the recepient of the change.
Much like this store, when we chose to make Jesus Lord of our lives, we become transformed into His image. We do not change ourselves. And we do not stop being who we are. If we are truly His, we wear His brand. People will see the change from the inside out. Now, I know the example isn't perfect. While our transformation (being "born again") is instaneous, the process of becoming like Christ (holy) is a lifelong process. Some days, we make take on our old brand and appear to be more like our old "owner" than our new "owner".
Have you been transformed? Would you like to know how to become a Christian?