transformation

i preached at my church a few weeks ago on the topic of transformation. here’s my outline:

Jesus is actively working to bring about restoration to everything broken and tainted – all of creation.

…but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. (Isaiah 40:31)

…being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. (Philippians 1:6)

Why don’t we experience constant growth? We block the process.

Tweaking is not Transformation

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. (Romans 12:2)

What holds us back?

  1. Seductions
  2. Lack of understanding and practice when it comes to Spiritual Discernment
  3. Internal Voices of Resistance
  • Voice of Judgment (“Transformation isn’t necessary”)
  • Resource needed: an Open Mind
    And [Jesus] said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18:3)

  • Voice of Cynicism (“Transformation isn’t possible”)
  • Resource needed: an Open Heart
    Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26)

  • Voice of Fear (“Transformation would mean I’d lose something”)
  • Resource needed: an Open Will
    So do not fear, for I am with you (Isaiah 41:9-10a)

So, what should we do to experience transformation?

  1. It’s all about posture. Position yourself invitationally for transformation.
  2. Learn to Discern.
  3. Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. (Romans 12:1)

  4. Exercise Curiosity toward yourself. What are your Voices of Resistance? What’s their “positive intent”?

Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. (2 Corinthians 3:17-18)

marko at 75and here’s audio. but, for some reason, it starts about 5 minutes or so into the sermon. i began by showing this doctored photo of myself at 75, and talked about how, since i’ve recently turned 50, i’ve been thinking a bit more about my next 25 years (assuming i have them). i talked about how one of the worst things i could imagine would be to be the same person at 75 as i am today. then i started talking about how my parents have been such a great example to me in this area, and in the midst of that description, the audio picks up:


(or, you can click through here if you’d rather download it)

2 thoughts on “transformation”

  1. Thanks Marko, good thoughts. I wonder too in regards to your first point “Jesus is actively working to bring about restoration to everything broken and tainted – all of creation,” whether another aspect of the problem of transformation is our limited vision of what that means. If we tend to only focus on “our souls” and not see that all of our lives need to be and can be transformed by Christ, then our goals or what we are “allowing” to be transformed or working towards transforming becomes very limited. This includes the physical aspects of our lives, even our relationship to our pets, what we buy at the grocery store, injustice we see or participate in, etc. etc. It is probably easier in a place like Haiti where you just were to see how transformation of all creation would be important, but in our more developed places, I think we often don’t see how much really is not how God wants it to be.

    Wondering what you think.

  2. yeah, bob — i agree. i tend to use a definition of sin and gospel that talks about four relationships (i think this is originally from CS Lewis, but i got it from Scot McKnight):
    - relationship with God
    - relationship with self
    - relationship with others
    - relationship with all of creation

    in that light, sin is anything that damages any of those relationships. and the gospel is about restoring all of those.

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