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Transformed by Love...
Marc Chagall

Transformed by Love

Thoughts on how we can really change...

by John J. Parsons

Jer 31:3 text

"I have loved you with an everlasting love;
therefore with love I have drawn you."

HOW DO WE CHANGE? How are we made new? Is it through self-effort? making resolutions? changing our diet or wardrobe? going into counseling? joining a "religion"? Or do we change by the miracle of God's compassionate intervention in our lives? When Yeshua invites us to turn and come to Him, he wants us to awaken to something so valuable that we would be willing to give up everything in the world to take hold of it. True spiritual transformation is not just about leaving your sin behind you (as good as that is), but is rather about discovering the glory of true and infinite life. It's about being the beloved. May the Lord help us see...

God's love sees the hidden beauty, worth, and value of your life. "Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls, who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it" (Matt. 13:45-46). You may be tempted to identify with the merchant and regard this parable as a challenge to give up everything to obtain the surpassing worth of the kingdom of heaven, but another way to understand it is to see God as the Merchant, the central character of the story.... Instead of you paying the great price for the pearl, turn the story around: God pays the price – and you are regarded as His choice pearl! You are a treasured possession, the "apple of God's eye..."

That's the message of gospel, after all, which is the "power of God for salvation for everyone who believes" (Rom. 1:16). The cross of Yeshua marks the end of "self improvement" projects, and that includes coming before God through religion (Rom. 10:4). We encounter God's love and acceptance "apart from the law," that is, despite our repeated failures, pain, and loss of the false self.  We are truly changed as we disclose more and more of what we really are to God, that is, when we come "out of the shadows" to be made visible and healed before His glorious Presence (Heb. 4:16). Then we discover the "lightness" of being united to the risen Messiah as we walk according to the "law of the Spirit of life in Yeshua." May God work within us all such a miracle!

"I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore with love I have drawn you." Note that the word translated "I have drawn you" comes from the Hebrew word mashakh (משׁך), meaning to "seize" or "drag away." We are pursued by God's love, and he haunts us until we surrender to his will (John 6:44). As we look to Yeshua, as we lean on him, God reveals more of himself to us. He gives us the grace and strength we need; he is always enough...

Hebrew-English Transliteration:

Hebrew Transliteration

ve'ahavat olam ahavtik, al-ken meshakhtikh chased

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