hope for churches in stress

Jesus, the Life-changer

To follow Jesus, we abandon any attempt to make something of ourselves. On our own, we cannot be good or virtuous. Instead, we trust Jesus to form himself in us. (Gal. 4:19)

Though not necessarily in the ways, at the pace, or to the extent we prefer, we will be changed. (2 Cor. 3:18) And there are certain traits and practices we can anticipate.

Jesus will mend our heart and bind up our wounds. (Ps. 147:3) He will instill traits like gentleness, honesty, modesty, and humility. (Gal. 5:22-23; Eph. 4:1-5:20; Col. 3:12) He will recalibrate our minds for faith, hope, and love—even for those who insult, accuse, and mistreat us. (Rom. 12:2; 1 Cor. 13:13; Mt. 5:11)

Jesus will call us to a chaste single life. (1 Cor. 7:25-35) Or ask us to embrace marriage as a lifelong commitment between one man and one woman. (Mt. 19:4-6) In our relational calling, he will train us in respect, sacrificial love, and purposeful investment within our household. (Eph. 5:21-6:4)

Jesus will repurpose our time, abilities, and money. In response to broken humanity near and far, he will stir us to love boldly, give generously, and serve joyfully. (Rom. 12:1-8)

Amid diversity and division, Jesus will insist on consistent concern for all. He will remind us to practice civility and forbearance. When conflicts arise, he will urge us to seek justice, reconciliation, and peace. (Micah 6:8; Mt. 5:23-24; Rom. 12:17-21)

Jesus is the life-changer, not us. (Col. 1:27)

Still, our partnership is essential. As we pursue a vital relationship with Jesus, open ourselves to the power of the Holy Spirit, and participate in the community of faith, we will be changed to live, speak, serve, and love like Jesus. (1 Jn. 3:2)

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