Bible Reading: Ephesians 2:1-9; 2 Corinthians 5:16-21.
We live in a world where there is such great desire and clamour for change- sometimes it is change in the economic fortunes or political directions of a nation, or sometimes it’s change in the experiences in a home. Sometimes, it’s a job or career line change, or sometimes, it’s the great and ambitious desire to change a loved one.
How about when it comes to change in our lives? God’s design has always been to change us on the inside by the power of His gospel, and then we change on the outside as a consequence of what He works in us.
We must never forget that the gospel we have believed is the real power and hope for change in our lives. The gospel is the power! It still heals the hurting and breaks cycles of sin; it still corrects wrong hearts and alters erring hands; it breaks cycles of fear and intimidation; it heals and reignites abused and torn minds… The gospel is the basis of all real Christian change.
Our faith in the death and resurrection of Jesus and our surrender to His Lordship is our hope for real life, not some Indian Psychology professor or 101 Get-Better steps from WhatsApp broadcasts.
Have you ever attended a social function and got into trouble for not recognizing someone you were supposed to know? My top bet is that she showed up in some heavy make-up and you were left clueless as to who she really was. No matter how bad an experience you’ve had with this, trust me, it could have been way worse. Ask Jacob- he exchanged marital vows with the wrong babe! I have a sneaky feeling Leah’s make up might have been part of Laban’s set-up to achieve this.
The make-up industry seems to have convinced humanity that we can achieve a face we desire, and it really doesn’t matter what’s on the inside. Make-up would never try or offer to touch on your character. It simply gives you a face-lift. Or better put- in some cases, face alteration. Sometimes, it’s actually a face lift; sometimes let’s just say a face shift or face drift.
The language of make-up is ‘you can look it’. Patch it up, smoothen, emphasize what you want, play down what you don’t want.
You can look it.
There’s a generation that rests its trust and faith on make-up. Look the part. Emphasize what you want. Perform religious duties. Go to church. Be philanthropic. Serve the community. Defend the helpless. Love widows and orphans. Don’t keep grudges.
In the simplest of terms, all that is putting a good make up on a dead person. If someone has a failing heart and you could advise the person between going to a heart surgeon or a make-up artist, I bet you would advise her to go to a make-up artist who can make her have a good looking smile.
Jesus gives life. We receive his life by believing the gospel. The living do what living people do. Outside of Jesus, it’s at best- at the very, very best- a dust conversation. Or mud, if you add water to it.
Every time an unbeliever does good, he’s simply a dead man pretending to be alive.
Every time a believer does wrong, he is a living man pretending to be dead.
A believer in Jesus- even a one-minute-in-the-faith Christian is never a hypocrite when he lifts his hands in worship, or when she reaches out to others with the gospel of Christ, or when he stands his ground as a Christian. No. It might feel far-fetched or a tough call, but it’s the simplicity of knowing that a believer has been made alive in Christ. Every good thing I do is me being true to my real nature.
I’m being a hypocrite when I fall back to the bad stuff. That’s not who I am anymore. And that’s the person to run away from.
On the other hand, an unbeliever is a hypocrite with every right thing he attempts to do. No amount of consistency in right doing can bring alive the deadness of the human spirit. So for every right thing an unbeliever tries to do, it is a dead man pretending to be alive. It is the dust pretending to be the breath. It can never be. It can act like it, talk like it, give people the impression that it is, but there is nothing about the dust that will ever amount to the God-capacity placed within the believer.
(culled from Dust-Breath Conversations by Tolulope Moody)
Today, let’s resolve to live out what the gospel has worked in us. Let’s live true to the life we have found in Jesus. Let’s be courageous and unashamed to incline everything we are and every breathing moment towards the truth we have found. The gospel changed us and it is still changing us. Our words, our conduct and all our expressions should be life-giving and Jesus-glorifying.
Because of Jesus, we are empowered for this!