Text: 2 Corinthians 8:1-10
“that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded in the riches of their liberality.” 2 Corinthians 8:2
The English dictionary defines ‘to transform’ as to change completely the nature, character or appearance of something in order to improve it. The key word in the definition is “change”. Thus, to transform a person is to change the nature and the outward appearance of the person. Nothing changes a person more than grace. Grace can transform a lion into a lamb, a wolf to a sheep, a menace to a messenger and weakling to a strongman. It can change sorrow to joy, ashes to beauty, sickness to health, lack to abundance and poverty to riches. Like Paul said, “as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.” (II Cor 6:10).
Grace engages its power of transformation from the inside to the outside and not the opposite. Thus, the conditions may not change immediately yet the fruit of grace will be produced. That was the experience of the Macedonian Christians according to our memory text. This means that, in spite of their great trial and deep poverty, they abounded in joy and liberality. Can you see the contrast? According to the text, their trial wasn’t just a mild one but a great trial of affliction and their poverty was not mere lack but deep poverty. Yet, they didn’t pretend to be joyous but manifested abundant joy. They didn’t just give out of necessity but they abounded in giving. The secret of this transformation is found in 2 Corinthians 8:1, “Moreover, brethren, we make known to you the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia:”. Grace overrules the condition on ground and transforms a life to bring the fruit of grace.
Friends, the grace that saved you doesn’t leave you in your old life but changes your nature, character and your appearance. Have you experienced these fruits of grace?
1. Father, as I submit to You, please, transform my nature, character and outlook to conform to the image of Christ in Jesus name.
2. Father, please, let the transforming power of grace be at work in every area of my life in Jesus name.
1. Since grace is at work in me, so I don’t tolerate my old nature.
2. The grace that doesn’t change my character and my outlook is not the grace of Christ.