There certainly seems to be a wide range of views on what it takes to be a Christian and unfortunately, there seems to be more finger-pointing and judging of other people’s Christianity than there is humble and prayerful introspection.
So, I decided to take a look to see what the Bible says about the ways God wants to transform His children.
I started by asking myself the following question…
If I didn’t actually speak the words that said, “I’m a Christian” would people be able to tell just by the things I say and do? Would they know I’m a follower of Jesus in the process of being transformed by God?
Jesus told the people who followed Him…
From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, “Change your hearts and lives, because the kingdom of heaven is near.”Matthew 4:17
And Paul said it’s the Holy Spirit who makes it happen.
All of us, then, reflect the glory of the Lord with uncovered faces; and that same glory, coming from the Lord, who is the Spirit, transforms us into His likeness in an ever greater degree of glory.2 Corinthians 3:18
We don’t talk about that much anymore, do we? Often the message we’re hearing is that we’re perfect—just the way we are.
Although, I truly believe God loves us the way we are … I also believe He loves us so much He wants better for us than the messes we make for ourselves by excusing worldly ideas and values.
But there is good news!
When it comes to godly transformation you and I are not left on our own to figure out where we need to change! Praise God, the Holy Spirit is at work within us.
Yet, the Holy Spirit doesn’t work in a vacuum. If you and I only fill our hearts and minds with the world’s views and values … we will begin to believe the persuasive lies of the world.
Which is why, I believe, Jesus told His followers to be SEEKers.
To SEEK His truth and surrender to the Spirit’s transforming power … that we would be “changed by God.”
So, I’m going to the Word looking for the qualities God says He wants in His children and surrendering my heart and mind … asking the Holy Spirit to teach me the Truth and work transforming power in my life.
I’d love for you to join me…
5 Things Found in a Heart Being Changed by God
1. A changed heart begins with love for God.
It sounds easy, doesn’t it? Simply love God. But we throw around the word “love” so easily … I want to know what it means to “love God” the way He wants me to love Him.
You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.Mark 12:30
I wrote a post about loving God heart, soul, mind, and strength … you can find it here.
The word “all” is a big word, isn’t it? With all I am … with everything I’ve got!
When I love someone, I want to spend time with them. I want to do things for them and show appreciation for the things they do for me. And I want to show them I love them by doing things that please them.
So, when it comes to loving the Lord, I want to spend time in His Word and in prayer. I want to live in ways that show how grateful I am for all He’s done for me. I want to know His will, trust His Word, and follow His commands … to show Him my love by doing what pleases Him.
Which is why #2 is…
2. A changed heart continues through knowing and trusting Jesus’ teaching.
If I’m going to do what pleases God, I need to know what pleases Him.
“You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings. And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”John 8:31–32
I want to know the truth that gives me freedom!
Jesus went on to say,
So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free.John 8:36
Jesus is the Truth that gives me freedom.
I want to know, trust, and follow Jesus’ commands because I love Him but I also know that no matter how hard I try … I will fall short of His perfect will.
Knowing and following Jesus’ teaching is doing my best to please Him while completely trusting that is His sacrifice alone that saves me.
God saved you by His grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.Ephesians 2:8–9
3. A changed heart demonstrates itself through living with thankfulness for God’s gift.
Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.1 Thessalonians 5:18
I’ve done nothing to deserve the gift of God’s grace, mercy, and love.
I have always loved Lysa Terkeurst’s quote…
“God’s love isn’t based on me. It’s simply placed on me. And it’s the place from which I should live . . . loved.”
When you and I know the blessing of living under God’s grace, mercy, and love we can’t help but respond with gratitude and thanksgiving. They become our natural reaction to all of God’s past, present, and future work in our lives.
4. A changed heart wants to obey Jesus’ command to love others.
Jesus commanded His followers…
“Love each other in the same way I have loved you.”John 15:12
This is hard, isn’t it? Honestly, much of the time it feels impossible.
It seemed difficult enough when Jesus affirmed…
“Love your neighbor as yourself.”Matthew 22:39
But to love as He loves.
I can’t do that without His help. Which is why I need the Spirit’s transforming help to not give up to “impossible” but trust that with the Holy Spirit’s transforming help, I can love others even when it’s hard.
Instead, be kind to each other, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.Ephesians 4:32
I want to glorify God by showing kind, tender-hearted, forgiving love to others. Can you imagine the difference God’s children could make it the world if we all surrendered to the Holy Spirit … inviting Him to love others through us. Letting Him help us love like Jesus.
5. A changed heart trusts God’s will one day at a time.
God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases Him.Philippians 2:13
Something I’ve always struggled with is living focused on the present. It’s always been easy for me to relive the past and worry about the future.
I am so thankful the Lord continues to work on me and in me. By His grace, I have experienced peace, strength, and courage at times when I knew it had to be God’s transforming work in me.
During my morning prayer time, I surrender every day to the Lord. Whew, that’s not me. That could only happen with God’s help.
One of life’s greatest blessings is knowing God is able to transform surrendered hearts.
This is important…
People whose hearts are being changed by God aren’t perfect. They are forgiven! They trust and love God’s promise to continue the work He began in them when they first believed.
I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.Philippians 1:6
What an awesome promise!
Will you join me in trusting God’s love and power to change hearts by His grace and use those He is changing for His glory!
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