Volume: 798 February 22, 2021
Theme: A Great Transformation
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It had been a long time since the older woman had been considered “legally blind.” Many years ago, the sight had totally gone in her left eye, and slowly the right eye’s vision deteriorated. In the last few years, all she could see from the right were some shadows and outlines.
When a doctor told her that surgery might improve what she saw out of the right eye, she hesitated. She remembered how previous medical attempts removed the left eye’s sight completely. Still, she pondered the surgery and soon gave her approval. The day of the operation found her being wheeled down to surgery.
After the surgeon’s work was complete, and she awoke from the anesthesia, the bandages were slowly removed. It was not long until she opened her eyes to see color, then as her right eye came into focus, she could see details. She saw what the doctor looked like as he explained what had occurred. She saw the room’s decor, the chairs, her daughter, and the papers that were clipped to the doctor’s clipboard. The one eye could once again see. Her world differed greatly from what it had been previously.
As she continued to scan the room, she saw one thing that she did not like. In the room’s mirror, the senior saw her image and the wrinkles time put on her face. When she last saw her reflection, all she had seen was youthful, smooth skin. Now, her observation was different. She saw the real her, not what only her hands felt, and could “show” her.
Likewise, a person’s spiritual understanding is different when they get saved (John 3:16). Many of the things they were involved in previously now appeared different. What was then “normal” and done by many is currently seen as the Saviour sees it. A realization of sinfulness and guilt is felt when that activity is even considered.
Lies that used to be a quick defense for getting out of trouble now bring a guilty feeling when they are uttered. Watching many television programs now bring shame to one’s heart, as those shows are now realized to be obscene and ungodly. The obscenities spoken on the same programs are no longer funny but are now perceived as “filthy.” Some are even recognized as mocking or blaspheming the Saviour.
Habits and other activities that were performed for many years are now felt as “inappropriate” and certainly not exhibiting good Christian behavior. Much of what was done, said, and seen is now frowned upon after being “born again.”
This transformed vision and understanding come with the “new birth” (John 3:3). It is part of the attitude and inward change that happens when one is saved.
“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” II Cor. 5:17.
The “new creature” in a saved child of God has a new mind that perceives their condition differently. It is the mind that thinks similarly to Christ: “For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ” I Cor. 2:16 (Also: I Cor 1:10, Philippians 1:27).
Although many claim to be Christians, few see any changes in their thinking processes or behavior. They see no difference in their lives after a profession of being saved. That is not what the Bible tells us happens to a person when they get saved. They should think differently, and their lives should change. Perhaps, they have a profession without possession.
If you claim to be saved, has there ever been a time in your life where your “vision” was changed? Do you see your life and the world around you differently? After being born again, did you see the “wrinkles” of your own sin’s depravity? Did the sight of how you were thinking and living shock you enough that you wanted to change your lifestyle and follow God’s direction? Is your spiritual life different than it ever was? Are you saved?
If you are not sure you are saved and have no one to talk to about this matter, please e-mail me at email@example.com.
“Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost, but now am found.
Was blind, but now, I see!”
— From “Amazing Grace” by John Newton (1725-1807)
The Great Transformation
C. H. Spurgeon
I know a village, perhaps once the most profane in England. It was a village inundated by drunkenness and debauchery of the worst kind. An honest traveler could not stop in the public house without being annoyed by blasphemy. It was also a place noted for robbers.
One man, the ringleader of them all, listened to the voice of God and got saved. That man’s heart was broken. The entire gang then came to hear the Gospel preached, and they sat and listened to the preacher and believed what he taught from the Word of God. These men became changed and reformed. Everyone who knows the place affirms that such a change had never been wrought but by the power of the Holy Ghost.
“No one should disregard a faith that can make sinful men good!”
— Author Unknown
The Most Wonderful Plant
Edited from an article by C. H. Spurgeon
A man had a garden that produced nothing but weeds. One day, he got some seeds from a rare plant of which he had heard wonderful stories.
He sowed a handful of the seed in his overgrown garden and let it work its way. He slept and rose and knew not how the seed was growing until one day, he opened the gate and saw a sight that astounded him.
He knew that the seed would produce a dainty flower, and he looked for it, but he had little imagined that the plant would cover the entire garden as it did. The flower exterminated every weed. As he looked from one end to the other, from wall to wall, he could see nothing but the fair colors of that rare plant and could smell nothing but its delicious perfume.
Christ is like that plant. If He is sown in the soil of your soul, He will gradually eat out the roots of all ill weeds and poisonous plants and “turn under” your old nature. All that will be seen will be Christ in you.
Earthly Changes Are Not the New Birth
A man may pass from the lowest ignorance unto the highest intelligence. Degraded poverty may be exchanged for the most exalted riches. A person may come out of the greatest obscurity into the largest publicity. He may rise from the narrowest circle of influence into the widest sphere of power. He may pass from one extreme to another in all things, be they moral, intellectual, political, social, and civil changes.
However, through all those changes, he may keep his innate bias to do evil, have an aversion to doing good, and continue to be a stranger to the new-birth as it exists in the saving grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. No earthly change can substitute for the changes that only come from Above when one is saved.
“Deathbed repentance is burning the candle of life in the devil’s service and then blowing the smoke into the face of God.” — Billy Sunday
A New Captain
Edited from an article by C. H. Spurgeon
There was a poor man about sixty years old. He had been a rough sailor, one of the worst men in the village. It was his custom to drink, and he seemed to be delighted when he was cursing and swearing. He came into a church one Sunday and heard preaching about Jesus weeping over Jerusalem.
The man thought, “Why did Jesus Christ ever weep over such a wretch as I am?” He thought he was too bad for Christ to care for him.
At last, he came to the preacher and said, “Sir, sixty years have I been sailing under the standard of the devil. It is time I should have a new owner. I want to scuttle the old ship and sink her altogether! Then, I shall have a new owner, and I shall sail under the colors of Prince Jesus.”
Ever since that moment, that man has been a praying man and has walked before God in all sincerity. Yet, he was the very last man you would have thought would be saved and converted. Somehow God does not choose just the “best” men. He will also take the filthiest and the vilest and fashion them into glorious beings, making them saints. Whereas they were sinners, He then sanctifies them and makes them holy.