I recently heard an interview with a man who was severely disabled and totally dependant upon technical aids and equipment to enable him to survive and enter into a measure of normal life without being completely bed-bound. He was assessing some latest electronic equipment which would enable him to still communicate with those around him as his condition deteriorated, as was expected. This apparently gave him great hope and optimism for the future, and he said, “I won’t be dying, just being transformed”.
It’s amazing what medical science can do in terms of providing an improved quality and length of life, but it can’t prevent the inevitable - death. The psalmist makes it clear ‘No one can live for ever, all will die. No one can escape the power of the grave’ (Psalm 89:48).
I have no idea where the man on the programme stood in relation to God, but, as born-again Christians, we can say with assurance that, although one day our bodies will die, we are being transformed. As the apostle Paul says, ‘And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord who is the Spirit’ (2 Corinthians 3:18, NLT).
In the following chapter, after recounting something of the challenges, trials, ordeals, opposition, persecution and torture he and his companions had encountered, Paul could categorically say, ‘Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day’ (2 Corinthians 4:16). I feel sure that, here, Paul was testifying to something of that transforming work which was being carried out in his life and is being done in the lives of all those who seek to follow Jesus and keep their eyes on Him, whatever the circumstances they have to face.
This transforming work of being changed into the likeness of Christ, I believe, begins on the day we accept him as Saviour and Lord and will continue until the day we see Him face to face.
So, we’re all a work in progress. Let’s not hinder that work but allow Him to do whatever’s necessary for us to become more like Him. This sentiment is reflected in the last verse of Charles Wesley’s great hymn, ‘Love Divine’ and perhaps it should be our daily prayer:
‘Finish then Thy new creation: pure and spotless let us be; let us see Thy great salvation, perfectly restored in Thee: changed from glory into glory, till in heaven we take our place, till we cast our crowns before Thee, lost in wonder, love, and praise.’ Amen.
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