By Nathan Hillman, Pastor Community Covenant Church of Upsala
“For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” – 2 Peter 1:5-8
The Monarch butterfly is a creature of transformation. At an early age, most of us learned how Monarchs go from egg to caterpillar (larvae) to cocoon (chrysalis) to butterfly. This cycle of transformation is vital to the species. In fact, the caterpillar that doesn’t transform is not even really a butterfly.
In the same way, Christians are creatures of transformation. If we are not constantly transforming, then we will not become the beautiful, Christ-like humans that we were meant to become. True Christianity is the transformation of a person to look more and more like Jesus. In fact, I would go so far as to say that anyone who isn’t being transformed to look more like Christ may not be a Christian at all. In other words, transformation is not optional.
I noticed two primary things from the Scripture quoted above from 2 Peter 1. First, it says that we are to possess certain characteristics in increasing measure. It does not say that we have to have it all together (none of us do), but it does say that we must be changing and increasing in certain qualities.
Second, it says that we can actually do something to make that transformation happen. We can’t just sit around and hope it comes to us. The apostle commands us to “make every effort” — to do whatever it takes to destroy sin in our lives and increase our obedience to him.
You see, God loves us as we are, but he also loves us too much to leave us as we are. That’s why transformation is not optional.
A young man from our church recently decided that he wanted to be transformed in the area of lust and pornography. He wanted to be free. So he took a number of steps in order to change. One of those steps involved placing his smart phone on a cinder block and pounding it with a hammer. He was willing to “make every effort” to be transformed to be more like Jesus.
If you don’t think you can, with God’s help, change certain things in your life, you’re wrong. I have personally seen big changes in my life in the areas of doubt, idolatry, lust, anger and the list goes on.
The good news is that today is the day. We all can change for Jesus.
Get a plan. Put it in place. And then pray. Ask God to transform you, one step at a time. One area at a time. But go after it. Don’t slow down. Make this your constant ambition.
So what are you waiting for?
“For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”