One of the great joys of ministry is that you often have a front row seat to watch God work in the lives of people. Recently I spent a couple of hours in conversation with someone who God has transformed over the last few years. When I visit with this person now, I sometimes find it hard to even recognize that it’s the same person I knew years earlier.
Such conversation often leads me to a time of praise to God for the Holy Spirit’s work. I am so thankful for the front row seat. I have enjoyed the front row seat for so many years now, that often when I meet a person who has just “crashed and burned” or “hit bottom” I think, even as I am listening to them in their grief, of what may emerge from their lives after a few months or years of walking with God.
This whole process of God transforming a person is sometimes complex, sometimes difficult, and always amazing. Thank God for transforming us by His grace. The passage below, one that I shared with my friend during our conversation, is a beautiful description of the transformation.
2 Peter 1:3-10 (New Living Translation)
“By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence. And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires.
In view of all this, make every effort to respond to God’s promises. Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone.
The more you grow like this, the more productive and useful you will be in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But those who fail to develop in this way are shortsighted or blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their old sins.
So, dear brothers and sisters, work hard to prove that you really are among those God has called and chosen. Do these things, and you will never fall away.”