We want to grow and change but we get frustrated. It’s not something we can do to ourselves by ourselves. Certainly we have a part to play, but it is freeing to understand the dynamic of God’s grace working in us and through us to create transformation.
When we are willing and choose surrender, we are doing our small part. God does the really significant part.
being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:5 NIV
The emphasis in this verse is on what God does. He began the work, and he completes it. God knows what he is doing. He is a master craftsman. Today we’ll look at three ways God’s transforming grace works in our lives.
Grace transforms by identity – We tend to behave out of what we believe, so it is critical that we understand who we are. We are fully accepted by God. We are made righteous and holy through Jesus. We are saints. Paul addresses the church in Corinth as saints. Honestly, in his letter he confronts behavior that was not very saintly, but through his teaching he tells them how to live like the saints they are.
Grace transforms by relationship – True life change flows out of relationship.
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. John 15:5 NIV
Transformation comes through abiding in Christ. Fruit is produced in our lives as a result of being connected to the vine in vital relationship.
Grace transforms by love – The joy of Christianity is the celebration of God’s relentless love for us. This love compels us. It motivates us. It inspires and empowers us. It is because of God’s great love that we can confidently choose to trust him with our lives and fully surrender to his will
Being transformed by the hand of God is beautifully illustrated in the book of Jeremiah.
“Can I not do with you, Israel, as this potter does?” declares the Lord. “Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, Israel. Jeremiah 18:6 NIV
God interacts with us like a potter making something beautiful and useful out of a lump of clay. By faith we step up onto the potter’s wheel. We surrender to his loving hands and God does the rest. He molds and fashions us according to his will, a vessel for his glory.