S – “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
O – Paul has just taught that unbelievers have a veil covering their hearts. When anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away (v. 16). So all who are believers have unveiled faces and are free to view His glory as if in a mirror and so are in the process of being transformed into His image in ever-increasing glory.
A – As we focus on God and His glory, He transforms us. He changes us into His image step-by-step. All the work of His Spirit.
P – Father, help me to walk in cooperation with and submitting to your work in transforming me. I pray I will not resist but always yield to Your hand on my life.
I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in Me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from Me you can do nothing.” John 15:5
I get hung up thinking about all I’m not. I’m not bold in sharing my faith. I’m not always the loving, giving person I know God wants me to be. I get discouraged when I don’t see the growth I believe God wants in my life. But I’m not the source of strength or truth. I need to absorb the fact that I can’t produce one good thing in my own effort. If I’m helpless apart from Him, then who am I?
“For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love, and self-discipline.” 2 Timothy 1:7
I was a prisoner of timidity.
Being shy and introverted, I tended to avoid attention. I was usually the one standing in the corner. I refused to attend youth group where I might have to join in a game. After college, I ran into a high school classmate I’d always liked and was crushed when he commented he didn’t remember ever hearing me speak…
“In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that He lavished on us …” Ephesians 1:7
My failures weighed me down like a suffocating blanket. Others appeared better than me. Accusations bombarded my mind:
“You’ve wasted your life!”
“You call yourself a Christian; look at all the people you’ve ignored!”
“What do you have to show for yourself?”
One day as I was getting into my car, I felt overwhelmed with negativity. Then, a song came to mind describing how God, within me, is greater than he who lives in the world (1 John 4:4). I turned on the car and those exact lyrics were playing on the radio!
Later that day, as I shared my struggles with a friend, she said, regarding my negative thoughts, “That’s the enemy! God doesn’t talk to us like that.”
A light came on in my heart, and I remembered the words from the song. I was under attack. Our enemy, Satan, was filling my heart with accusations. Yet, I knew, “The blood of Jesus, His Son, purifies us from all sin” (1 John 1:7b).
I wish I could say I had victory from then on, but the enemy doesn’t take a vacation. He looks for an opportune time, then strikes. He mixes in enough truth to discourage us and make us feel defeated. It’s true that I struggle with pride, selfishness, laziness, and jealousy. But, I’m no longer under condemnation! (Rom. 8:32). I always have the grace of Jesus. When I fail, I confess and ask for His help. God never prompts me to give up because of my sin.
He calls me to repent and keep going.
The Holy Spirit will convict us of a specific sin and call us to change, but He doesn’t oppress us with guilt or condemnation. In response to His gentle prompting, we humble ourselves, confess, and move on in joy.
Are your thoughts condemning you? Call out to Jesus, confess, and move on. Resist the lies that seek to defeat you.
Scripture –“Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness.” Romans 6:13
Observation – Don’t offer any part of yourself to sin instead offer every part of yourself to Him as an instrument of righteousness. Offer every part: mind, thoughts, heart, soul, body, feet, hands, mouth, eyes, sexuality, words, actions, gifts, and even weaknesses and sins. Offer it all to Him.
Application/Prayer – Father, show me how to do this. Please help me live as an instrument of righteousness not as an instrument of wickedness.
Lord, I offer to you my mind, my inner being that can’t be explained. I give to you my thoughts where it all begins. Please take my heart and soul— the essence of my being. I give to you my hands and feet; take me where you want me to go. Holy Spirit help me guard my eyes and control my tongue to your glory. Let my actions honor you. May my gifts and weaknesses be used for your purposes. I yield to you Father. I can’t do it in my strength. Please let your will be done in me. I rest in Your grace knowing Your love is unfailing.