"Life Transformation in Less Than an Hour" the ad read. My first reaction was that this was another gimmick designed to get my money — and it probably was, the prices were listed right there in the ad. Yet as a minister and a Christian writer, I find myself in the transformation business. Should I be so cynical about transformation?
The skeptical part of me remembered the old adage, "If it seems too good to be true, then it is." Then I remembered Jesus' conversations with Nicodemus the religious leader in John 3 and the woman at the well in John 4. Both of these had their lives transformed by Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit. Nicodemus took awhile to reach (see John 3:3-7; John 3:13-15; John 19:38-42), but transformation did come. The woman at the well did find her life transformation in less than an hour! This outcast woman left her water jug at the well, having found living water from Jesus, and led her whole village to life transformation. (John 4:10-30; John 7:37-39)
They were not alone in finding transformation! The book of Acts is full of stories of transformation. One of the very hardest to miss is the one in Acts 2 which resulted in 3,000 people experiencing life transformation. (Acts 2:36-47) Paul reminds the Corinthians of their incredible transformation from being sinners to being God's holy children. (1 Corinthians 6:9-11; 1 Corinthians 1:2) Even notorious people of Crete — "The people of Crete are all liars; they are cruel animals and lazy gluttons." (Titus 1:12) — had experienced this life transformation! (Titus 3:3-7)
These life transformations didn't come from a seminar, a book, or a philosophy. They were not the result of a "for pay" advertised life-plan. These life transformations came because people caught a glimpse of Jesus — what he has done to bring them life through his own death and resurrection, what he can do in their daily lives, and what he will do in the face of their own physical death. These people turned their lives over to Jesus in faith, trusting in his power to save and being baptized in his name. The true power of transformation, the Holy Spirit, was set loose to work in them. Nothing would ever be the same for them!
Every time I find myself getting a little cynical about people, the Lord confronts my hard heart with the truth: if I believe in Jesus, I must believe in the power of the resurrection that is set loose in those who believe in him. Life transformation is possible because of Jesus' grace and the power of the Holy Spirit. Life transformation in less than an hour is not only possible, it has happened for thousands of years to untold number of people. Let's pray that God uses us to help it happen to those around us!
I pray that you will begin to understand the incredible greatness of his power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God's right hand in the heavenly realms. (Ephesians 1:19-20)