“And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” 2 Corinthians 3:18
Put together one very run down or inadequate house, several opinionated designers, seven days and what do you get? The answer is the former TV show Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. Each episode begins with the host, Ty’s famous “Good Morning!” wake up call, when he along with the other designers, surprise the unsuspecting family with news that their typically insufficient home for the needs of the family has been selected to receive an extreme makeover. All in a week.
I have to admit I liked that show. What’s not to like? It was hard to watch that show and not be moved by it, even to dab away a tear now and then as you witnessed lives being changed in such a dramatic way. This show targets people with needs, whose lives have fallen apart with little hope of putting them back together. I do not know what the religious beliefs are of those who star or produce the program, but what they do “looks like Jesus.” And most of the people that are helped on this show thank or praise God during the dramatic unveiling of the new house. People recognize the hand of God in all of this.
This program is a metaphor for redemption. The show does not level these houses and start over. They do their best to redeem and then rebuild the existing structure into something much grander than you, I or even the family the house is being built for could ever imagine. Each of us who are followers of Jesus are also in the extreme makeover business. Have you ever noticed that whenever Jesus talks about the Kingdom of God in scripture, he doesn’t talk about worship services, church buildings and Bible study? He instead seems to relate it to the ideology of restoration, redemption, and discipleship.
The Extreme Makeover, Home Edition show tended to make me pause and reflect for a few moments and ask one simple question: How effective are we as Christians and a church community in the area of extreme makeovers? How effective are we at making a real difference in people’s lives? When we make a real difference in people’s lives, they will more readily recognize the hand of God than if we simply preach to them.
Yes, we get people to church. And yes, there are decisions for Christ almost weekly. I praise and thank God for every decision for Him, because that is partly answering the fundamental question in our current teaching series, “What on earth am I here for?
Are we experiencing an extreme makeover when we make the decision to accept Jesus Christ as Savior? Has the trajectory of our life changed dramatically? Are we asking Jesus into our lives or are we asking Jesus to change our lives? Are we receiving Jesus or are we following Jesus? Are we obedient to Jesus? Is there a thirst for intimacy with the risen Savior?
While we are doing some introspection, we should also ask ourselves whether we are willing to follow after the example of Jesus without having a desire for a personal and intimate relationship with Jesus. It is like saying, “Hey I will go on a few dates with you, but I really don’t want to be married or anything that resembles that level of commitment.”
So what type of makeover has occurred as a result of giving my life to Christ? After all, what is the point of accepting Jesus if there is no change? Charles Stanley observes: “In the final analysis, it boils down to one question for you and me as Christians. Is Jesus Christ in truth the Lord of your life? Of my life? A central principle in conquering Christianity is: Jesus Christ is Lord! We recognize Him as Lord, but there is a difference between Jesus being the Lord and being my Lord.”
My prayer is that all who call Northstar home will experience not just religion, but a life-changing growing relationship with Jesus Christ.
I encourage, no I challenge you, to think and pray about this. How much of a makeover is going on in my life?