Saturday, April 18, 2015

Except Ye Be Converted

image used under Creative Commons license, courtesy of, picture by Eviatar Bach
One of the things we like to do is share a reading from our devotional for that month. April's devotional book is Saved in Amber: April - A Time of Protection

April is when we really start thinking about Spring.  The flowers coming out, the green grass, the warmer temperatures, and sunshine.  It's almost as if our world is sharing its own message of resurrection.  Or, maybe closer in nature to conversion.

Matthew 18:3 (KJV) And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.

We’re all familiar with that verse.  We talk a lot about having child-like faith, not being childish, keeping it simple, etc.  But when is the last time you heard anyone speak or preach about “Except ye be converted”?  In a way, that’s the most interesting part of the verse.  Jesus is speaking to the disciples.  I’ll bet you haven’t thought about the disciples’ need for conversion.  I know I haven’t.

The word for “converted” is strepho.  It basically translates to any of several phrases that use the word “turn”.  It’s a change of mental and spiritual direction.  That certainly seems to come as a part of salvation.  But the disciples are already saved and converted to Christianity.  The reality is that we don’t get rid of the flesh completely.  The moment of salvation doesn’t bring with it sinless perfection.  I often wish it did!

The power of conversion is in spiritual growth.  Think of a flowering plant.  It doesn’t instantaneously go from a seed covered by dirt to a large, full plant with blossoms that are admired by many. There’s a standard process between those two conditions.  The disciples have tried keeping children from bothering Christ.  But Jesus, being God was certainly capable of His own time management.  The disciples weren’t sure if they ought to let foreigners near Jesus (the Greeks in John 12).  Yet, the disciples, after the crucifixion, hid in fear in the upper room.

Prayer thoughts for day 2:  We need to ask God to continually convert us from worthless coins to spiritually valuable currency.   Help us, Lord, to grow more spiritually than physically.  If we don’t yet know Jesus, we want Him to begin the process.  If we already have that relationship, we want Him to finish the work in us that He started.

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