Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Change Is Possible in 2016

You're not stuck.  You're not encased in concrete.  Your life is not a dead end.  The possibility of change has not slipped through your fingers.  Change is possible for you and me even in the places where changes seems most hopeless.  Why?  Because the Giver of transformative grace has made you and me the place where He dwells!  

If you were to ask what God is doing, what He is working on between the "already" of your justification and the "not yet" of your sanctification, the answer could be given in one word:  change.  

First, there is that work of personal growth and change the theologians call "progressive sanctification."  It is God's lifelong commitment to actually make me what He declared me to be in justification - righteous.  In every situation, location, and relationship of my life, God is implying people, places, and things as His tools of transformative grace.  He is not resting.  He does not leave the work of His hands.  He takes no breaks; He is relentlessly working to change me into all that His grace makes it possible for me to be.  He will not be content for me to be a little bit better.  He will work by grace until I am finally and totally free of sin, that is, molded into the image of His perfectly righteous Son.

This zealous Savior is also a dissatisfied Creator.  He is not content to leave this world in its present sin-scarred condition.  So there will come a day when He will make all things new.  He will return His world to the condition it was in before sin left it so damaged.  Change really is the zeal of your Redeemer.  Personal change (Titus 2:11 - 14) and environmental change (Revelation 2:1 - 5) are His holy zeal.  When you are disappointed in yourself, grieved at the sin in your relationships, or upset with the condition of your world and you cry out for change, you are crying for something that hits right at the center of the zeal of your Savior's grace.

Change doesn't mean that you'll get your wish list of things that you think will give you the good life.  Change doesn't mean that God will turn the people around you into the people you'd like them to be. And change surely doesn't mean that God will exercise His power to make life easier and more pleasurable according to your definition.  But you can rest assured that where real change is needed, there is a God of grace who knows just where that change needs to take place and offers you everything you need so that it can happen.

By Paul Tripp

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