February 24, Saturday

Devotional Thoughts for Today

“The God Who Transforms”

Genesis 48:8-12

When Israel saw Joseph’s sons, he said, “Who are these?” Joseph said to his father, “They are my sons, whom God has given me here.” And he said, “Bring them to me, please, that I may bless them.” 10 Now the eyes of Israel were dim with age, so that he could not see. So Joseph brought them near him, and he kissed them and embraced them. 11 And Israel said to Joseph, “I never expected to see your face; and behold, God has let me see your offspring also.” 12 Then Joseph removed them from his knees, and he bowed himself with his face to the earth.

I enjoy watching “transformational reality shows”—they are reality shows where there is a great amount of change from the beginning to the end: for example, shows like The Biggest Loser, Fixer Upper, and Undercover Boss.  Whether it be a body being transformed by getting in shape, an old house getting restored, or changes made in a company—positive change gives us encouragement and gives us hope that change is possible.

One of the truths about Christian life is that God can change anyone.  No matter how bad we think we are, or the ingrained patterns of sin we fight on a daily basis, our God is a God who transforms.   And He doesn’t just change the outward behavior but gives us a deep heart transformation that makes us new and different people.  In the life of Jacob, we see that he started out as a liar, he was also proud, self-seeking, and careless.  Whether deceiving his father (Gen. 27), using his own wits to appease Esau (32:1–21), worrying more about his reputation than his daughter’s safety (ch. 34), or ignoring the fraternal hatred incited by his favoring of Joseph (ch. 37), Jacob was not an example of piety at the beginning of his life.  Yet at the end of his life, we see Jacob blessing the son’s of Joseph in a gesture of faith and love.  We see a changed man because of the love and grace of God!

I love what C.S. Lewis says about transformation in his book Mere Christianity:

Imagine yourself a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps you can understand what he is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on: you knew that those jobs needed doing so you are not surprised. But presently he starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make sense. What on earth is he up to? The explanation is that he is building quite a different house from the one you thought of—throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were going to be made into a decent little cottage: but he is building a palace.

There is hope for change!  As we continue to obey and seek Him, He wants to change us from the inside out.  That is good news for us!

Prayer:  Lord, thank You that change is possible because of the power of the gospel.  Help me to be surrendered to the areas in my life that needs changing and becoming more like You.  Amen!

Bible Reading for Today: Joshua 8-11

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