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An Extreme Makeover Worth Pursuing

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Do you enjoy watching makeover shows? I love home renovation programs where weekend warriors envision a remodeled home, and then, they make it happen. They invest sweat equity stripping, hammering, and replacing what no longer serves their residential structure. The completed renovations far outweigh the labor and expense.

Similarly, we are weekday warriors as we embrace a renewed life in Christ tearing down what stands in the way of our relationship with God and others. It’s an extreme makeover worth pursuing.

 

Testing Our Love Meter

Nothing will test the quality of our love than relationships. For me, relationships have become my love meter. There are times I wish I weren’t a work in progress. Although I received a new life in Christ, I didn’t become an out-of-the-box finished product. I didn’t overflow with unconditional love, happy-face patience, or complete self-control.

Instead, when it comes to relationships, I often feel like a bumper car navigating without a map and hitting the guardrails throughout my course. With each bump and slam, I realized my former relationship skills need a renewed perspective.

 

Redemption in the Tension

In the Book of Ephesians, the Apostle Paul offers practical instruction for Christian living. In his later years of ministry, Paul reminded believers to live as “one body” in Christ (Ephesians 4:4). The tension created from legalism, intense persecution, and worldly customs obscured loyalties and divided the church, but there’s redemption in the tension.

Throughout Ephesians, we see a contrast between a former and renewed life that involves relationships. As redeemed children of God, this circular letter challenges all believers, whether Jew or Gentile, man or woman, slave or free to live in unity. Here are three points that helped me remember how to live in unity.

 

Provision Through Christ

Ephesians 2:11-22 begins to reveal the provision we have in Jesus Christ. These verses show the contrast between death and life. Our gift from God provided a way to become united with Christ. Those who were once “far away” are “brought near.” God’s plan was to provide spiritual foreigners Godly citizenship through Christ. We have everything we need to live a spiritually transformed life in Christ.

 

Power through the Holy Spirit

Ephesians 3:16-21 transitions into the work of the Holy Spirit. Paul explained that the Holy Spirit revealed God’s plan. The Good News brought God’s children together as one family or one body. During Paul’s life, unity between Jews and Gentiles was hard to grasp, but the same Spirit that revealed God’s mysteries would give the church the inner strength to reject the former and embrace the new, so God’s people could become one family.

 

Persuaded by God’s Love

Ephesians 4:17-24 reminds believers to walk with a renewed mind and lay aside former ways of living. The renewed mind is a work of the Holy Spirit that makes holy living possible by remembering who we are in Christ. The Holy Spirit becomes a guiding light, a light that helps believers see the deficit of their hearts and seek renewal in Christ. This truth allows all of us to walk in Godly fellowship and honor God through our relationships. We love as God loved us.

 

Stop Hitting the Guardrails

We don’t have to hit the guardrails as we pursue God’s purposes. We have a map! God’s Word helps us unite with Christ and lay aside our former thinking so we can love one another. We become weekday warriors tearing down what no longer serves us as followers of Jesus Christ, and we look forward to our transformed life. Imagine, mothers wouldn’t have to raise children alone. Marriages wouldn’t have to face divorce. Hearts wouldn’t break from estranged relationships. Now that’s an extreme makeover!

 

An Extreme Makeover Worth Pursuing 

I hope the next time you’re flipping the channels and you stumble across a reality makeover show, you remember to check the reality of your love meter. Yes, our love meter may drop at times, but we’re a work in progress. Grace, grace, grace, allows us to open our hearts and love again—a little more, a little better, and a little longer.

Blessings!

Marisa Shadrick

 

References

Barry, John D, editor. “Persecution.” The Lexham Bible Dictionary, Lexham Press, Bellingham, WA, 2016, Logos Bible Software.

Elwell, Walter A., and Barry J. Beitzel. “Paul, The Apostle.” Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible, Baker Book House, 1988, Logos Bible Software.

Gundry, Robert H. “Chapter 14 / The Prison Letters of Paul.” A Survey of the New Testament, 5th ed., Zondervan, Grand Rapids, 2012, pp. 453–475.

Lea, Thomas D., and David Alan Black. “Chapter 17: Paul’s Captivity Epistles.” The New Testament: Its Background and Message, 2nd ed., Broadman &Amp; Holman, Nashville, TN, 1996, Logos Bible Software.

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