Archive for the ‘transformation’ Tag

“Jesus: ‘Look, I Am Making Everything New!'”, Part 2

Scripture: Revelation 21:1-8


The Lord Jesus Christ Is Risen! He is Risen Indeed! So, “Who is Jesus Christ?” “Who are you Lord? And the answer he gives is that He himself is the Resurrection and the Life! The scriptures themselves testify to Jesus Christ as the person around whom all things revolve and the One to Whom we should all turn and be directed.

Theological Theme:

Holding this two all together we can say that the Gospel is the Good News about Jesus Our Resurrection, and therefore the Resurrection is primarily about a personal relationship with Jesus Christ (personal doesn’t mean individual! It means sharing in Jesus relationship with his Father, the Spirit and all things!) It IS also about a glorified body! But it must be clarified in our day that Easter/Resurrection is a proclamation of the Fact that: You’re not just going to rise from the dead, you’re going to rise before, and accountable to Jesus Christ!

Christ Connection:

Relationship with Jesus is a priority ahead of receiving a new and glorified body! Because Jesus is not only the Resurrection but the Father’s Son, He is God and therefore present to us now in the Holy Spirit! He is Not first far off, but up close! He is “The God who made the world and everything in it—he is Lord of heaven and earth— [and he] does not live in [things] made by hands. 25 Neither is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives everyone life and breath and all things. 26 From one man[e] he has made every nationality to live over the whole earth and has determined their appointed times and the boundaries of where they live. 27 He did this so that [we] might seek God, and perhaps [we] might reach out and find him, though he is not far from each one of us. 28 For in [the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit] we live and move and have our being,” – Colossians 1:24-28a

The picture you should have in your head about God is one where the Father embraces and seeks to embrace you through his arms of Jesus and the Holy Spirit! And Jesus is central because he is the one who takes us to the Father and sends us the Holy Spirit, so…

We proclaim him, warning and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone mature in Christ. 29 I labor for this, striving with his strength that works powerfully in me.” (Col 1:28-29)

Missional Application:

In participation with Jesus Christ, by the Spirit, and to the Glory of the Father, we continue to proclaim Jesus to all and encourage all to place their faith in Him and enter a trust relationship with Him!

“the ministry of the Holy Spirit is personal and personally transforming—it is dynamic and interactive, bringing about receptivity, responsiveness and participation. And the result is that we are on a journey towards spiritual maturity and full sanctification, being changed into the likeness of Christ. But this journey is not automatic, causal, or impersonal. It is not mechanically imposed on all believers…receptivity and participation do make a difference, [and so] the New Testament indicates the differences it makes and encourages, exhorts and even commands us to be receptive to the Word of God and the ministry of the Spirit out of trust in God’s faithfulness through the Son and in the Spirit. As Paul exhorts in Eph. 5:18, we are to be “filled with the Spirit.”

These personal distinctions related to personal participation should not be taken to mean that God is faithful to some but not to all. The difference our personal responsiveness makes does not condition God into changing his purpose and aim for us and all humanity. It does not make God for some and against others, and it certainly does not lead him to want to see those who are unresponsive perish.

Our personal response (or lack thereof) to God cannot undo the fact that Jesus is and remains Lord and Savior of all. The character and purpose, mind and heart of God remain just as they have been revealed in Christ. The finished work of Christ is never undone—God remains, in Christ, reconciled to all people, no matter their response. He has and holds out forgiveness for them, is ready to receive them back into fellowship with him, and in that sense accepts them. However, while God accepts them, he does not accept their rejection, their sin, their rebellion, but accepts them in order to do away with what is against them and against their participation in the reconciliation accomplished for them in Christ. Nothing changes that reconciliation (with all it means), not even a person’s complete or partial rejection of God’s gift. However, our personal response (participation) does affect the quality of our lived relationship with God and thus our personal experiencing of the benefits of Christ.”

-Dr. Gary Deddo

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Once Slaves, Now Children!

Part A:

Part B:

Full Message:

Watch On YouTube

Bible Verses: Romans 8: 12-20 Romans 8:31-39


God the Father changes us in Christ. In exploring Romans 8, we see that Christians have undergone a radical
transformation from being slaves of sin and fear to becoming children of God who can live with full
assurance and hopeful anticipation that God is making all things new.

Theological Theme:

God [The Father-Son-Holy-Spirit] delivers us from slavery to sin and death, and He gives us life through the Spirit.

Christ Connection:

God’s people are in the process of being conformed to the image of His Son. We have been adopted into His family, no longer slaves to sin but children of God who call Him “Father.” Because of Christ’s work on the cross, we are welcomed into God’s family and are now coheirs with Christ, eagerly awaiting the glorious future He has promised.

Missional Application:

The Father calls us to rely on the Spirit’s power to put to death the deeds of the body and to follow His commands as His children.


“Wherever the Holy Spirit dwells, His holy presence creates a hunger for holiness. His primary task is to magnify Christ (see John 16:14-15), and it is He who gives the believer a desire to be like Christ. In our natural condition we have no such passion. But in the Christian, the Spirit of God begins to carry out the will of God to make the child of God like the Son of God (see Rom. 8:29). And He who began this good work in the life of the believer ‘will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus’ (Phil. 1:6).” –Donald S. Whitney

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Our Father’s Hope For All: In The Forgiveness Of Sin! pt.6

Part 6A:

Part 6B:

Full Message:

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Main Bible Verses: Luke 24 Luke 7: 36-50


“Our Father’s hope for all: In The Forgiveness Of Sin” has primarily to do with relationship and how relationships work. It is not some static fact apart from actual relationship. When we say Resurrection, we mean God’s forgiveness resulted not only in the sending away of sin but RELATIONSHIP with JESUS in a RENEWED HUMAN NATURE by the Spirit. This message focuses in on the forgiveness/reconciliation that is ours because of Jesus, The Resurrection.

Theological Theme:

The Gift God gives us is The Gift of Himself. God doesn’t have anything else to give humanity but Himself, so the gift you have been given in The Gospel is God -The Father, Son and Spirit and relationship with Him. This is why Jesus personalized Resurrection saying that HE IS THE RESURRECTION – John 11:25.

John 3:16

Christ Connection:

The primary thing Jesus has been proclaiming is HIMSELF and Who HE IS. Because He is God the Son, the only begotten of The Father, then when He is with us, in our humanity, He is God with us, God for us, for our humanity!

What The Resurrection is proclaiming:

  • Jesus is God The Father for us (since He is One with the Father).
  • Jesus is The Holy Spirit in us (since the Spirit is One with He and the Father).
  • Jesus is God, having done something to our human nature. Jesus is literally inside our human nature and so God is intimate with us by the Holy Spirit in our human nature.
  • Jesus is God, transforming our human nature up close and personal – personalizing and humanizing us.

When we say JESUS, we are saying that in Him and because of His union with us as His creation, there is now a reconciled relationship that God has with all with creation. For Jesus to become human and to touch and heal humanity means that what God created but had fallen into sin has now been made right again, in Him, so that we can have hope now and fulfillment at Jesus’ Final Appearing! We receive in Christ the complete forgiveness of sin and at the same time the complete healing of the proper relationship between God and man, and all creation.

“The Gospel is as inclusive as Jesus’ Humanity” – Bobby Grow

Missional Application:

What sin is:

Because God is a relationship and has called us into His relationship, sin means our not believing in Him, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Sin is our not trusting, or relating with Him. Sin is turning to something else other than The Father, Son and Spirit for your identity, for guidance in your life, for strength in your trials, etc. Sin is also the horrible motive of seeking to put God to death. Sin according to the scriptures is lawlessness meaning that it corrupts every part of our humanity in word and deed, and everything in between..

However, the one unchanging Truth of the universe is God and His love revealed in Jesus Christ. God is interested in us and in a restored relationship no matter that we have sinned and despite that we have done everything to mess up our relationship with Him. In His fantastic mercy and grace He has placed into the universe, and into His creation in Jesus Christ, THE FULLNESS OF THE FATHER SON AND SPIRIT IN FLESH! So Law in The New Testament is actually the Love of The Father, Son and Holy Spirit Revealed in the human nature of the Son. Since everyone has sinned, and Christ has undone our sin, every human has been forgiven of their sin and reconciled to God in Jesus Christ and, therefore, are each and all called to put their trust in Jesus and receive this forgiveness and reconciliation freely given to us!


In The Resurrection Season, God The Father proclaims to you through His Son and in the Holy Spirit the forgiveness of all of your sins. Luke 24: 1-8

God wants all to participate in what Christ has done for us and to receive what is already theirs in Christ – THE FORGIVENESS OF SIN. The reason your sins are forgiven in Christ is because Jesus is “THE ONE FOR THE MANY”. Knowing Christ in His Resurrection means knowing the forgiveness of ALL your sins. Hear and receive this hope and proclamation of THE COMPLETE forgiveness of your sins because of Jesus, THE Resurrection, and because of Jesus’ Resurrection, bodily, from the dead!

“….Despite man’s sin, God is with him, the One who was in Jesus Christ reconciling the world, drawing man unto Himself in merciful judgment. Man’s evil past is not merely crossed out because of its irrelevancy. Rather, it is in the good care of God. Despite man’s life in the flesh, corrupt and ephemeral, God is with him. The victor in Christ is here and now present through His Spirit, man’s strength, companion, and comfort. Despite man’s death God is with him, meeting him as redeemer and perfecter at the threshold of the future to show him the totality of existence in the true light in which the eyes of God beheld it from the beginning and will behold it evermore. In what He is for man and does for man, God ushers in the history leading to the ultimate salvation of man.” ― Karl Barth, The Humanity of God

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The Messenger – Converted and Called!


Audio – Part A: 25 min


Audio – Part B: 24 min


Audio – Full message:


Bible Verses:  Acts 9: 1-25


“The most meaningful changes in life are the ones that move us closer to fulfilling our God-given purpose—starting with being converted as new followers of Christ. We don’t change and grow to be better people with better lives with the goal of feeling better about who we are. We grow to become faithful Christ-followers sent by the God who sends.

Saul, later known as Paul, collided with God on the road to Damascus. More precisely, it was “the God who sends” who collided with Paul, and this Pharisee’s life was never the same. Paul’s story reminds us how God can transform even the hardest of hearts and what it looks like to become a converted, called messenger of the God who sends us on mission with His Son.”

Theological Theme:

Conversion to Christ comes with a calling to ministry with God [Father, Son and Holy Spirit]

Christ Connection:

The conversion and calling of Saul, later Paul, is a demonstration of God’s power to save. Through an encounter with the crucified and risen Jesus, this once-hardened persecutor of God’s people began his journey to becoming the greatest missionary the world has ever known. Only the gospel can transform a public opponent of Christ into a fervent witness to His salvation.

Missional Application:

God, through His Holy Spirit, calls us to pray with full confidence that God can transform even the hardest heart.

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Love Really Does Win

angry bear One of my dear ones was hurt emotionally not so long ago, and like a she-bear, I would have liked nothing better than to confront the offending party.  It would be extremely satisfying to point out exactly how wrong, illogical, and hurtful the offender’s actions were, and more importantly, I would feel like I was doing something to help or to bring some justice to the situation.

I did not challenge them, more out of respect for my dear one than for the offender. And instead, I decided to grade papers.  There’s a saying that goes “when the student is ready, the teacher will appear.” In my case, though I was the teacher, I was taught again (probably for the hundredth time!) about how love really does win through one of my student’s writing assignments.

The writing assignment was based on a personal experience that required the student to entirely reconsider his or her attitude toward another person. My student (whom I’ll call Tammy) wrote about a work experience where her younger coworker began bullying Tammy’s daughter who was a new employee.  The daughter was a little overweight, and the bullying coworker showed no mercy or restraint in making that obvious to all.  The daughter was so miserable that she eventually quit the job.

Though Tammy would have liked to confront this coworker about her mistreatment of her daughter, she somehow refrained and instead, she decided that she was not going to let this bully’s behavior ruin her job, too.  She determined she would be her normal, happy self, and that she would ignore any negativity from the bully.  Over time, Tammy was surprised that the bully began to talk to her, and Tammy continued to treat her kindly, just as she did everyone else.  Even more surprising is that eventually the bully became a friend, both to Tammy and her daughter, the very one who had been bullied.

When I read Tammy’s account about how she handled the mistreatment of her dear one, and how it resolved by continuing to show love and kindness to the offending person, I was prompted to think of my own dear one’s situation in a different light.  Even Jesus, when he suffered on the cross, asked the Father for a little mercy on behalf his tormentors because “they know not what they do.” In our world full of hurts, maybe a little extra kindness where it is not deserved may bring about much-needed healing, and infusing a negative, hurtful situation with the love of God might provide the reconciliation that we all desire. If indeed “God is Love” (I John 4:8), then allowing that love to flow through us to those with whom we are at odds may be our way to participate as God transforms this world, one person at a time.

It would have been VERY satisfying, humanly speaking, to respond in kind to the person who hurt my loved one.  But, as I learned from my spiritual teacher Tammy, seeing transformation as the goal, rather than revenge or justice, means that love must be applied lavishly.  With transformation as the objective, love really does win.

~by Nan Kuhlman

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Babies, Love, and Transformation

mother baby hands I’m in the midst of my fall semester, and my composition students have completed their first essay.  The assignment was a narrative, and the prompt instructed them to tell me a story about a person or event that influenced the way they see the world.

I’ve used this prompt in the past, and I’ve always enjoyed reading the stories.  Some of them I’ve cried over, especially those that involved the death of a dear family pet (I’m such a softie!).  But this time, I noticed a trend in a number of them, a commonality that made me stop and think about what it really takes to change a person and where true transformation comes from.

Out of the seventy-five essays that I graded, I would guess that about fifteen percent of them told me the story of how they became a mother and the way that event influenced them.  Many, if not most, of these stories told about living a teen’s life of drinking, drugs, and promiscuity, and some mentioned the hurts that produced this type of lifestyle.

One student told how she would get drunk every night, go to high school hung over, sleep in the bathroom stalls through classes, and then do it all over again the next night.  She wondered how she ever graduated.  This was a common story throughout my reading of these essays – a life of total licentiousness with no supervision or parental guidance.  But then something happened that changed everything.

For my students, it was a positive pregnancy test.  These women (or in many cases, teenage girls) were transformed from a wild lifestyle to one of responsibility, contentment, and even happiness.  Why?

As I read the essays, I would see sentences like, “When I saw my son’s face for the first time, I fell in love,” and “I knew I wanted to take care of my daughter and make a better life for us both.”  The common point in the transformation of these women from a promiscuous, self-indulgent lifestyle to one of contentment and joy was love, and in particular, the all-consuming passion of mother-love and the helpless, reciprocal love of a newborn.

These women were not changed by a list of rules or someone telling them they needed to straighten up and live responsibly.  They were not transformed by “shoulds” or “musts” or “have-tos.”  It was just love, and it was enough.

The implications of this lesson are huge for parents, for churches, for all of us, really.  Knowing that we are loved and accepted and loving others wholeheartedly is the key to true transformation and lasting change.  Since any love we experience has its origins in the Father, Son, and Spirit, we can say that God is the source of lasting change, but practically speaking, it often takes a human application of loving and being loved to feel the unconditional love of God.

I’ve always been a rules-type of person, so the idea of allowing the unconditional love of God to flow in me (invoking healing), through me (to others), and back to me (from others) as a means of experiencing more of human life as God intended it, seems a little intangible.  But as I’ve witnessed through the lives of my students, love is all you need.

~ by Nan Kuhlman

Transformation and The Dawn Treader

I realize that they’re supposed to be children’s books, but I have a fondness for The Chronicles of Narnia series by C.S. Lewis.  It should be no surprise then when I report that I have seen the latest movie based on the books, The Chronicles of Narnia:  The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.  Before you think that this is turning into a movie review or that I’ll spoil the plot for those of you awaiting the DVD, you can rest easy.  What I want to talk about is what is missing from the movie.

The Dawn Treader features a new character named Eustace, the sulky, sour-faced cousin of Edmund and Lucy.  As you can imagine, there is no love lost between the Pevensies and Eustace until his lack of integrity and a little magic put him in a humbling position that allows Aslan, the great Lion, to change him both inside and out.

The movie portrays this in a dramatic and entertaining fashion, and from watching the movie, one might think that Eustace changed overnight from being a pain in the neck to being the best cousin ever.  The book, however, tells a slightly different story.

C.S. Lewis says this of Eustace’s transformation:  “It would be nice, and fairly true, to say that ‘from that time forth Eustace was a different boy.’  To be strictly accurate, he began to be a different boy.  He had relapses.  There were still many days when he could be very tiresome.  But most of those I shall not notice.  The cure had begun” (The Voyage of the Dawn Treader ,  Chapter 7).

Eustace had had a life-changing encounter and transformation with Aslan, yet he still messed up sometimes.  He still sinned, just as we do even though we understand our adoption and salvation through Jesus Christ.  The important thing for us to remember is that our adoption isn’t contingent on us behaving properly or peeling the “scales” of sin off, like Eustace tried to do.  The “cure” for our sin disease was begun long before we ever knew of Jesus Christ.

As we “live and move and have our being” in Christ (Acts 17:28), we will have plenty of days when we’re “very tiresome.”  Thankfully, the Triune God doesn’t seem to notice.  The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit know that our cure has been started, and they are certain to bring it to fruition.

~by Nan Kuhlman

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