In this series of posts, we’re looking at the eight weeks of the Transformed Life church programme. This week Mark shares his thoughts about Transformed Life Week Two.
I’ve decided to talk about each day individually, because, quite frankly, it was all good!
It’s interesting how God has planned blessings for us from the beginning of time! Blessings so much more than even the greatest worldly gain. I’m finding that Dave’s conversational tone helps me get my head round some of the more in-depth theological themes.
I loved how Dave says God chose us to be holy way before we chose to follow Him. Questions of predestination, of Calvinism vs Arminianism, are all well and good, but just knowing that God chose us right from the start is a great encouragement that can actually apply to real life – I can live each day with the knowledge that God actually chose me!
I found the picture of adoption helpful, especially the thought that when we’re adopted into God’s family, we each become just as much a part of that family as anyone else. We’re still ourselves but we also take on a new identity in Christ.
Dave mentions that God didn’t intend for us to be burdened by guilt and shame. As this follows on from the story about the slave and being freed, it made me think about how Jesus’ sacrifice frees us not only from sin itself, but also from burdensome guilt and shame about things He has already forgiven.
Woah, Ok. A day about positive thinking? A bit new age-y for me… but wait. No, what Dave is saying is that whilst Paul was writing about great things to come, his immediate circumstances weren’t particularly great (to say the least!). So even though we may be going through, well, pretty much anything, we don’t hope for the future in some wishy-washy ‘hoping for it to stop raining’ kind of way, but we have a solid confidence in what Jesus has done and will do in the future.
Today is all about being included. This struck a particular chord with me as I have experienced being part of the ‘out’ group (rather than the ‘in’ group), especially during school, and trying to stand up for those who are rejected or outcast. I look forward to reading more about that in Week 5 – Belonging to His Family.
This day is all about being secure. It’s a nice touch in the Reflect & Respond at the end that Dave invites both those who are not yet Christians and those who are, to ask Jesus to ‘seal you for eternity with His Spirit’. This phrasing might sound like Christianese but in context of everything we’ve read over the week it makes perfect sense.
The week ends with an Action Step to look at a list of statements at the back of the book and allow them to take place in my own life. Some of my favourites include: in Christ I am highly favoured (Eph. 1:6), in Christ I am expectant (1:9–10) and in Christ I have come alive (2:5).
Find out more about the Transformed Life church programme here.
About Mark Baker
Mark works for CWR and enjoys trying to figure out this thing called life with his small group. He enjoys reading, writing, small group ministry, rugby (watching, not playing… he’d get flattened!) and helping out at Alpha.