Without a doubt the most valuable thing that Christianity can give you is a connection to Jesus for the forgiveness of your sins, because that bestows eternal life with God. Nothing else is even close. Because this is such a large gift, there is a tendency to feel like its the only gift. It is not. God wants to do more with you than bring you to Heaven when you die. He wants to start shaping you into a kind, wise, loving, forgiving person who has particular supernatural abilities that are specifically chosen for you to fulfill a God-given purpose right now. It is the meaning of life.
To fulfill our purpose, you and I need some work done. Completing our purpose is not a prerequisite for God loving us or God saving us. Consider that to be done, if you have been baptized and believe God’s promise about Jesus’ death for you. Being transformed and completing our purpose is additional blessing which can lead to reward that is even more blessing.
Consider the following passage which is sort of a favorite of mine:
For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.Ephesians 2:10
Think about how God is working on you. He shapes us through His Word and our interaction with Him in prayer. He can often use difficulties and persecution to strengthen and make us wise. Anything, good or bad, can become a tool to shape us, especially if we look for the lesson and pursue transformation ourselves.
Everybody is born with a unique set of nastiness the Bible calls sinful human nature. Much of our sinful nature we share in common with others. The whole set of bad qualities, weakness to temptation, and resistance to God ends up to be uniquely ours. That is one reason why I think it is genetic and a part of our body versus a part of our soul.
The nastiness either gets modified down or made worse by our family life. In a dysfunctional family ugly traits can become pronounced and harder to change. Transformation can still happen. Consider the following verse:
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.Romans 12:2a
We see patterns of nastiness in our world, even in our own families. Sinful nature wants to conform to these patterns. But when we are connected to Jesus and given the Holy Spirit, we do not have to conform. Instead, we learn a different pattern of living from the Bible and from people living as disciples of Jesus. God blesses our efforts to imitate with a wholesale change that not only includes changing the way we think but changing what we think with. I firmly believe God changes the wiring of our brains if we need it, and we probably do.
God’s transformations feel good. Less tension, less anger, no hopelessness, more feeling of closeness to God, kindness, patience, strength and peace. Yes, a few sinful behaviors that used to entertain us are no longer entertaining. But these are readily replaced with much more healthy pursuits.
For what purposes might we be transformed? It could be very big things. Stuff that alters the course of our lives, even changes the world. Most would like this. But it also could be a million smaller interactions that fit within the framework of our lives as it currently exists. The will not make the history books, but they will not be forgotten by God. They are the things that God has chosen for us. Completing our calling, no matter what that is, is our highest available life achievement.