This week you are hearing from a guest blogger!
Tina is a devotional writer who loves many things - UGA football, mountaintop sunrises, and lake days with her husband and two kids among them - but, first and foremost, she loves God’s Word. Tina seeks to inspire and encourage busy women to build their lives upon the solid foundation of His Truth and to draw nearer to our Lord, Jesus. You can find her sharing daily mini devotions and words of inspiration on Instagram @tinareale or connect with her for weekly devotions of truth, grace, and hope at tinareale.com
"And he brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, 'You are Simon son of John. You will be called Cephas' (which, when translated, is Peter)." John 1:42
Have you ever believed change is impossible?
That certain things about your character are just who you are and hopeless to ever be different?
Have you ever identified with a certain part of your past, or your family’s past, and figured that is just the way it will always be?
Or maybe you assumed that the same struggles will always plague you, that the same thoughts will always run you, or the same lies will always defeat you.
Oh, friend, I know that feeling.
When I became a believer, I imagined I would wake up to a new day as a new person. The old habits would die, my patience would be unending, and my deepest places of shame would never show themselves again.
But old habits die hard. Sin still battles God’s will in my heart. And, yep - my patience still wears thin. But with His new mercies each morning, I still know meeting with Jesus changes things.
Not all at once, like we hope, or even expect. But in time. As we walk with Him, learn from His ways, and grow in His wisdom.
In the first chapter of John, when Jesus meets a certain fisherman, He says something so simple, yet with profound meaning for you and for me. “You are Simon, son of John. You will be called Cephas, which is translated Peter” (John 1:42). You are…. You will be.
Friend, is this not the work of His grace in each of us?
You are broken. You will be whole. You are a slave to sin. You will be a child of God. You are anxious, concerned with things of the world. You will be in His peace. You are weak in your own power. You will be strong in His perfection.
We can come as we are. He will love us exactly as He finds us, because He has loved us all along. But His love is simply too good.
It will change us into who He always meant for us to be. And while there may be seasons we wrestle with God as He prunes our sin, reshapes our thoughts, and molds us more into His likeness, we can rest assured whenever we enter into His presence it will inevitably change us for the better.
In the instant we say yes to the saving grace of Jesus, God looks at us and sees Christ. His righteousness becomes our own. And in every moment following, we have the opportunity to put it into practice.
To affirm our new identities with His thoughts, His words, His deeds, His choices flowing through us. His grace meets us, then we follow. And as we do, we go from the labels and identities we previously held to daughters of the King. Whoever you believe yourself to be today, cling to the power of His grace in you. You are already His, and you always will be.
-What changes do you notice in your life when you meet with Jesus?
-What changes do you expect in your life when meeting with Jesus? Why or why not? Look for evidence in God's Word.
-How have you seen God gradually change your identity?
Focus on prayerfully considering one aspect of your identity this week that you want to grow in to become more Christlike. Ask the Holy Spirit to partner with you in taking action toward sanctification.
Jesus thank you for coming and calling me as I am. Thank you for extending grace and for continually receiving me as I am while also calling me higher. Help me to meet with you this week, to invite you to make me more like you, and to be "transformed into your likeness with ever-increasing glory" (2 Corinthians 3:18). Amen.