Tuesday Devotional: Philemon

bibleRead Philemon

There is something radically different in the way a person is transformed by the Gospel of Jesus Christ versus the way they naturally mature or alter their behavior over time.  As people age, inevitable changes occur.  These changes can vary from the slight to the dramatic, but they can be followed with relative ease.  Observing a person’s growth over a given period of time is like tracking a sequence of interconnected dots.  There is a well-established understanding in human development that while some changes give cause for some consideration, there is often a relatively simple explanation as to how or why the change occurred.  This is not to belittle the change; it is simply to address the fact that human change is relatively predictable.  But a person confronted by the Gospel truth of Jesus Christ who yields to the authority of said truths experiences a transformation rather different than the traditional course of maturity or human development.  The transformation of a person by the Gospel of Jesus Christ is nothing short of supernatural.  The changes in the person are inexplicable. They defy logic.  Moreover, these changes are real.  They do not come and go like a phase.  They are roots that are planted deep and yield consistently good fruit. As the Gospel of Jesus Christ transforms a person, the desires and interests of their old self are radically transformed as well.  The desires that used to satisfy now fall pitifully short of satisfaction.  While the old self clung to certain idols of the heart with stubborn persistence, the new self becomes aware that these old desires never truly satisfied and only bring distance from the God that has satisfied the self so completely.  True transformation by the Gospel can be measured in many ways, but one way is in how ready we are to hold on and how ready we are to let go.  If the desires of our old self continue to convince us of their power to fill our cup, we have not yet made room for God to fill it.  If the desires of our old self become to us slithering snakes or poisonous spiders that we are quick to let go of, we can be encouraged that the truths of the Gospel are in fact transforming us.

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