We often think of change as the leftovers – the pennies, nickels, and dimes which accumulate in pockets and car seats. What is the significance of a few coins here and there? Some people even walk right past a penny in the parking lot, because it’s just not worth the effort to pick it up.
Today, I’d like to think for a few moments about biblical change, which is never insignificant and is always worth the effort.
The most glorious transformation is when the Lord calls a sinner to himself: “For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins” (Col. 1:13-14). Following our redemption, the Lord embarks upon a massive change operation in our lives through his Word and his Spirit.
Sometimes this change seems to be imperceptible, like single pennies collecting in a big jar. Yet, we should never despise the day of small beginnings, for God is at work within us. Take a moment and think back over your life. Are you the same person as you were when the Lord called you? Do you not know more of his Word now than when you were first saved? Do you not have greater affection for him? Are not your commitments more grounded in the truth than they used to be?
A few years ago, I was watching an old home movie, and there I was, talking about some passage of Scripture, totally referencing the wrong book of the Bible! It was funny, but it also reminded me of how much I have learned over the years.
But more than just knowing about God’s Word, I have a greater affection for the things that move the heart of God. People often talk about our need to think God’s thoughts after him. This is certainly true, but we should also love what God loves. God transforms not just our thinking but our affections as well. And when the things I know and love change based upon God’s work in my life, my commitments will change as well – to myself, my husband, my family, my church, my job, and how I view the world. All of these have changed over the years, because God has been molding and changing me to be conformed to the image of Christ (Rom. 8:29).
Perhaps you get discouraged at times over your lack of progress or your small progress. Press on! Pursue true biblical knowledge. Pray God would increase your affections for the things he loves. Align your commitments to match what you know and love about the Lord. Pray for grace to grow more. Remember it is God who completes his work in us (Phil. 1:6), and he works in us both to will and to do (Phil. 2:15).
And what of those loose coins? Seemingly insignificant on their own, the accumulation of pennies, nickels, and dimes in a jar can be remarkable and result in much wealth. Such is our sanctification. It may happen little by little, but we are growing. We are not who we used to be, and we are not yet what we will become. But God is changing us!