Learning to Live in the Radiance of Christ!

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I have several Max Lucado books I have read and now have decided to reread some of them. I am reading, “Just Like Jesus.” One of the profound statements in the book is, “God loves you just the way you are, but He refuses to leave you that way.” As normal my mind began buzzing. Listen to the words that God shared with me.
We all know God the Creator is far different than Man the Creator. As I was thinking about this I thought about people who invent or create things. Usually they create something that is good for one use. Now I know there are tools and items that can be used in a multitude of ways, but they accomplish about the same task. Take my mixer. It was created by someone who decided there was an easier way to mix things. When it first came out that is all it did; mix things. Now it could mix a number of things, but it was only a mixer. After a few years they started mixing it up a bit (did you catch that lol) and added a knead bar so the mixer could do more. Basically, it still just mixes, but it’s asked to do more.
The sweeper is another one; it just sweeps. You can buy attachments or attachments come with it, but again it is basically a sweeper. The broom was created by someone and all you can do with it is sweep. It has not changed; the style or the image might have changed, but it just sweeps. That’s all it was created to do is just sweep.
You get where I am going. Think about those things in your home that was made by man. What was the purpose behind the person who created the item? Does it do the same basic task? Is it asked to do several things with some minor changes or does it do one main task?
Now let’s stop and think a minute about God the Creator. When God creates it is amazing. Take for instance God creates a day, now I know He creates more than just one day, but if you stop and think about it each day is different. It’s not the same day. Temperatures are different, it might rain one day or be cold the next day. Each day is different. No two days are alike. 
Let’s go a little deeper and think about humans. God creates us as babies. God loves us just the way we are when we are born, but he refuses to leave us that way. I am glad he does not leave us as babies. He along with our parents helps us to grow into little independent beings. My daughter and several of my friends has some little independent beings and I am thinking they are glad God won’t leave them the way they are now. They love them, but they are challenging at the stage they are in right now.
As we grow into toddlers, small children, pre teens, teenagers and young adults God loves us just as we are, but He doesn’t leave us in any of those areas. He changes us with each new development we make. God loves us at each stage, but He doesn’t leave us there. 
We are made for different reasons for different times. God has plans for us, but as we grow into adulthood those plans often changes. It’s not that God changes his mind, but factors change and so does our purpose. He may have in mind for you to be a great artist. He might have given you the skill and the talent to draw and paint pictures, but over the years and through some experiences you have lived through it might be to God’s advantage that instead of a great painter He puts you into a position where you can serve Him better. I really think if I had paid attention to my calling I would be a Missionary today, but instead I insisted on my own way. I married, had children and lived through some difficult circumstances. So, instead of my living out His purpose my purpose had to change to fit my circumstances today. God didn’t stop loving me because I wasn’t living out His purpose. I can say definitely I am not the person I was when I was much younger. After acknowledging God; learning about God’s love; accepting His plans for me God changed me. He refused to leave me the person I was ten or fifteen years ago. 
The rest of that statement goes like this, “God loves you just the way you are, but He refuses to leave you that way. He wants you to be just like Jesus.” Now I know what you are thinking, “But Jesus was perfect. There’s no way I will ever be perfect.” I agree with you. Neither one of us can, no one can be perfect. God doesn’t ask us to be perfect. What He expects from us though is to grow more like Him every day. He created this world, He knows it’s impossible for us to be perfect in this world, but that is not an excuse to not grow closer to Him and follow His ways. That is not an excuse to sin and then ask for forgiveness. If we have truly given our lives over to him then we need to let him lead us and change us into what He wants us to be…like Jesus.  
Another statement he makes is often times we connect with God, but we don’t let him alter us. We trust Christ for his salvation and his saving us, but we don’t allow him to transform us into what we can be. For instance the mixer was a great idea, but when the creator decided to change it up a bit it made the mixer even better and a more useful tool. When we allow God to change us we can be a better tool for His good works through us. We all know improvement comes with age, but it can also come when we allow God to change us. 
Finally he asks us to experience the radiance of Christ in our lives. We have all been to a wedding where the bride was radiant. We have even mentioned she looked radiant; radiant means glowing, beaming and joyful. We can have that same radiance when we allow God to transform us, when we agree to live like Jesus wants us to. People will see the same radiance in us as we are transformed to be more like Christ. 
A couple of verses come to mind.  “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:11-13
“For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth;…Psalm 139:13-15
I am asking you to be connected, be altered, trust in God and in His transformation for your lives and dwell in His radiance and remember, “God loves you just the way you are, but he refuses to leave you that way. He wants you to be just like Jesus.” Be excited not anxious about the next phase God has for you.
Dear Lord, Thank you for not leaving me like I was years ago. I am so much better today than I was then, but I am not as good as I will be in years to come. Thank you that one day when this life is over I will have achieved perfection, not because of anything I have done, but what you have done in me. My purpose may change, my life might look differently than I had planned or you had planned, but when I let you make the changes and the plans my life is so much better than anything I could dream up. Thank you for loving me and changing me. Help me to learn to live in the radiance of Christ today and every day. Amen 
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