Focus 40 Day 29: Extreme Living—Growing in Christ through His “You Are, You Shall Be” Factor
Prayer Focus: Pray to be rooted int he Word of God – Ps. 1:1-3
Extreme Living—Growing in Christ through His “You Are, You Shall Be” Factor
As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins…we were by nature objects of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.
—Ephesians 2:1, 3–5 (NIV1984)
THIS IS ONE OF THE MOST hope-energized, joy-infused passages in all Scripture, but it doesn’t start out that way! Paul begins describing the utter hopelessness, the total captivity to sin and spiritual death, as well as physical death, of all people apart from Christ. But Paul immediately adds: “But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ.” That’s one of God’s “You Are… You Shall Be…” factors. Paul’s picture illustrates the story of when Jesus first saw Peter as his little brother Andrew introduced them to each other: Andrew “immediately led him to Jesus. Jesus took one look up and said, “You are John’s son, Simon? From now on you shall be Cephas” (Jesus changed his name to Rocky; that’s what the Greek means—a little rock! [John 1:42 MSG/DSP]); and Rocky became the strong, solid rock God used to preach one simple message on Pentecost and thousands came to Jesus.
At first, Peter didn’t act like a Rocky personality. He slept through the garden prayer meeting with Jesus, which would have empowered him to be a winner instead of a failure at the courtyard campfire where he denied three times that he even knew Jesus. A few days later, Jesus restored Peter at the seaside campfire (John 21:15). But in the upper room prayer summit, Peter fulfilled Jesus’ prediction—the “You Are… You Shall Be…” factor—and became Rocky when he and the disciples were freshly empowered by the Holy Spirit to go out into the streets witnessing and preaching the good news.
It’s the before and after Jesus painted of Peter, and of you too! Jesus looks at you like that and whispers ever so tenderly, yet positively and confidently, “You are… You shall be… I want to show you the things in your life that hinder you from becoming all I created you to be and accomplishing all you and I want you to do. I know the things that keep tripping you up, causing you to fail, hurting others in your life. As you see those debilitating things, I want to deliver you from them and set you free to soar in my presence, power, and provisions. I also see what you can become as you let me empower you, by my Son, to become all I created you to be; and energize you, by my Spirit, to accomplish all I call you do.”
You can live with assurance that you are not the person you were when you come to Christ, and you are not now the person Christ is transforming you into becoming!
Help me to live always in the power of being made more, being remade, being new in Christ. Empower me, Lord, by your Son, to become all you created me to be. Energize me, Lord, by your Spirit, to accomplish all you call me to do. I love you! Amen.
Dr. Sam Bruce
Pastor, MACU Professor, and Transformation Team Member