Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Conversion Isn't a "One-Time" Event

Isn't it funny how we use words differently inside and outside of the Church?

When we say the word "conversion", if we're "inside" the church, we immediately think of "salvation."

But, if we're "outside" the church, we may more readily think of something like "conversion van" for instance. We think more of something that has been altered or changed in someway to make it useful for another purpose.

A recent S.S. lesson was on Saul's conversion, and it got me to thinking that, in actuality, conversion is a long drawn-out process, that involves a lot of changes.

For instance, the men we call the disciples were converted from their "jobs" to "followers of Christ." Then they were "converted" to disciples, then apostles, Church Fathers, and then most of them, to martyrs.

Actually the opposite of conversion is stagnation. When we stop changing, and growing, we are useless.

In Philippines 3:12-14 (NLT) Paul says, "I don't mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me.

No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead,

I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us."

In my own life, I've undergone many "conversions." First I was a child, a daughter; then a student, (then a believer) an employee, a wife, a mother, a business owner, a writer a caregiver, a mother-in-law, and a teacher. And now, I am undergoing yet another "conversion" for which I am in daily prayer.

What about you? Have you undergone "conversion" in the "Biblical" sense? That's first and foremost. But then, what about in the fuller sense of the word? Are you undergoing conversion?

If not, are you in danger of becoming stagnant?

Father, I lift up those who genuinely seek conversion; those who seek to so change daily as to serve You in the fullest sense of the word; those who "forgetting the past, are looking forward to what lies ahead."

I pray Lord, that they... we may press on to reach the end of the race, and receive the heavenly prize for which You, through Christ, are calling us.

In Jesus' Name - Amen.

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