Transforming Hope!

pink tulips

Awww… lovely spring is upon us! I love the warmer weather and the new hope of growth. I love seeing new, lush grass, fruit trees in full bloom, tulips and daffodils swaying in the gentle breeze. Are you thinking about spring cleaning your garage, drawers and closets yet? I know I sure am! What about spring cleaning your mind? Is it possible that the God of all possibilities has a new work to do in you? In this new season, the hope of growth is all around you and me.

“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Rom.12:2 (NIV)

How do you allow God to transform, renew and spring clean your mind? First of all, you place your life before God as an offering. Next, it’s time to surrender and submit with an all-in kind of attitude. Then, embrace and be grateful for what God does for you. Keep looking up to Him and His perfect love, not looking to the world for approval. Jesus, through His loving-kindnesses, mercy, grace and strength starts to change you from the inside out.

You will start to notice you pray more before making decisions. You ask for forgiveness a little quicker than usual. You start seeking His best instead of your good. Mature, well-formed growth begins and you start to notice you really do not want to miss out on your quiet time and the sweetness of abiding in Jesus’ presence. As your mind begins to transform, Jesus cuts away the extraneous from your life that hinders the luscious fruit from growing. As you continue to walk in the Spirit, He will help you through the resurrection power living inside of you and help you to be finished with habits, hang ups and addictions. You are cooperating with Him as He changes you inside with a new way of thinking.

Gal. 2:20 says, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” True transformation is possible in Jesus Christ alone as you offer your life to Him in complete surrender; embrace what He is doing, seeking His approval alone, asking to be cleansed of your wrongdoings and seeking His best while you meditate on His holy Word. Sounds like a lot to do…but it is God who will create the transformation as you walk in the Spirit daily and focus your hope on Him.

He is your Eternal HOPE! You can have H.O.P.E. (holy, optimism, with a positive expectancy!) in Jesus and what He will do in you during the new transforming spring season!

 

 

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Sold Out!

sold-outRecently, I was sitting in a  coffee shop waiting for my two bible study sisters. Every week for our summer study we meet in a different coffee shop. It was unusual they were running late. I was just starting to wonder if I was in the wrong place when a man thrust his hand out me. “Hi, I’m Glen!” He beamed me a huge smile. His bright purple suspenders held up his blue jean shorts. But, what really caught my eye was the tattoo on his forehead, tucked ever so slightly under a few wispy gray bangs. In faded blue letters I read “Be Love.” It was subtle and yet it shouted out to me!

Now, I started to smile! Seated, I stood up so I could look into his light blue eyes, just about the same color as his tattoo. I shook his hand and said, “I’m Holly. It’s great to meet you, Glen! I like your tattoo.”

He replied jovially, “Thank you! I introduce myself to twenty-five people a day, just making friends.”

“Oh, that is great! I’m just waiting for a few of my friends.” He looked down at my tattered red leather-bound bible. Part of the cover was worn down and was starting to look a bit pink instead of red. Glen smiled and replied, “Oh that’s the good book with all of the truths in it. You can’t go wrong with this book.” I was going to say something in return, but Glen jumped in and whispered, “You know I learned the hard way. I thought BMW cars, fancy clothes and a mansion would bring me happiness. But they didn’t. Happiness and truth. It’s all in this book,” he said, tapping the cover with his finger.

My recent trip to Uganda flashed through my mind. None of those material possessions Glen mentioned meant anything to the Ugandan people. What meant the most to them were people and relationships. It was so evident in the way they would talk, laugh, hug and look you square in the eye when they spoke to you. The smell of my vanilla latte brought me back to reality.

I looked at his t-shirt with purple letters. I read: “To get love, be love.” Just then, my two bible study sisters walked up. I introduced Glen to them and then as quickly as he came he was gone.

In our study that day we were talking about surrendering to God. I had to really ponder the question: “Am I willing to pay the price of full surrender?”  Or, do I want the discounted price of not all in, maybe giving 75% to my Lord Jesus? Could it be the time is drawing short here on earth? I know one thing. God is looking for sold out and completely surrendered people to do His work and Be Love!

Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong. And do everything with love.” {1 Cor. 16:13-14}

{originally published June 16, 2013 on  The Tapestry Network blog site}