Monday, April 11, 2016

Except Ye Be Converted

We try to share a portion from our one year devotional book, Breastplate Gems, monthly. So, it's time for one of the devotionals for April.

Our priorities change with having a relationship with God.  And our focus changes.  But that doesn't necessarily happen overnight.And that's the thought from our selected reading from April's section of Breastplate Gems that we'll explore.

What we see, today, is a turning, both toward and away from.  And we realize there's a flavor of repentance baked into 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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