“Last Saturday I went to the market at the county park by the river,” Stan said one morning while we waited for Ricky to bring our breakfast. “You ever been there?”
“Can’t say that I have,” I replied. “What kind of things do they have there?”
“All kind of stuff,” Stan said. “Fresh produce from local farmers, prepared food, plants, flowers, arts, and crafts. You name it and you can probably find it there.”
“Did you buy anything?” I asked.
“We got some fresh peaches, a jar of blueberry jam, some of the best goat cheese I’ve ever tasted, and a couple of loaves of really wonderful artisan bread.”
“But,” he continued, “the thing I liked absolutely best was this guy who was selling yard art.”
“Yeah,” Stan replied. “This guy makes metal sculptures. Things he creates from old things that he welds together.”
“What does he use?”
“All kinds of metal pieces that have been discarded,” Stan replied. “Old gears, chains, sheet metal, that sort of stuff.”
“Is what he makes any good?” I asked.
“It’s fabulous,” Stan exclaimed. “This man is really talented at making new things by welding together stuff that was basically junk. I spent quite a bit of time talking with him.”
“Did you buy anything from him?”
“I didn’t,” Stan replied, “but I asked him about making something special for me. I have an idea for a piece of yard art that I would like him to make. He’s going to come by later this week and talk about what I have in mind, where it might go, and that sort of thing.”
“Well,” I said, “that’s certainly nice that he would make the effort to come to your place.”
“Oh, he’s a great guy,” Stan replied. “When I was talking with him we got on the subject of how he came to do what he’s doing. He relates it to his faith walk.”
“His faith walk?”I said. “How so?”
“He sees what he does with making something new out of old stuff to be kind of like what God does with us when we are willing to let Him do it.”
“Oh,” I said, “like having the old be transformed into something new.”
“Exactly,” Stan replied. “The Bible has lots of examples of that sort of thing. The lump of clay being formed into something different. Jesus telling Nicodemus that he had to be born again. The apostle Paul writing about being made into something new, and that he considered everything to be ‘rubbish’ compared to the surpassing value of knowing Jesus.”
“And,” I added, “I suppose you could even look at this sort of thing as being kind of like the discipleship that Jesus talked about.”
“In what way?” Stan asked.
“The part where we are to deny our old selves and take up the new selves God has for us to take up as we are being transformed into disciples.”
“Being transformed into disciples,” Stan repeated. “That’s a good way to look at it, my friend. It’s like being re-purposed, being called and changed according to God’s purpose!”
Bible verses to consider:
Therefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; new things have come. 2 Corinthians 5:17.
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:2.
Jesus answered and said to him (Nicodemus), “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” John 3:3.
I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish in order that I may gain Christ. Philippians 3:8.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, for your provision of a new life in and through Jesus and His finished work on the cross. Thank you for the new life that grants me the assurance of spending eternity in your presence, both now and when my time here is completed. I confess that too often I do not allow you to transform me in accordance with your will. Please forgive the foolishness of trying to live this life for you while I am conformed to the image of this world and not being transformed in the ways you have for me. Please help me follow your lead so I am truly transformed into the new person you intend, being the disciple you have for me to be. Thank you that I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Think on this: Are you on the path to being transformed into something new? If no, is that because you have not accepted what God has for you as His free and gracious gift of life eternally with Him? If that’s the case, why? If you are a Christian with the assurance of salvation and redemption, how are you doing with being transformed into what God intends while He keeps you on this side of eternity? If you sense the need for change in any of this, how is that going to happen? Is that what you want? Why or why not?
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