God transforms lives. This we know already. In immersion, we are created anew. We are born again, John 3.3, 5. We become new creatures. The old passes away.
“So then, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; what is old has passed away—look, what is new has come!” 2 Corinthians 5.17.
The physical and material conditions of life count for little.
“For neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything; the only thing that matters is a new creation!” Galatians 5.16.
We are being prepared for eternity. God is shaping us for heaven.
And in the present, he not only transforms our inner being, but the spaces in which we live and the time that we use.
It is ironic that brethren bewail the loss of morality and godliness in society. Our hope is not in social progress nor do we despair because of the decline of justice and righteousness among those outside of Christ.
Physical Israel is no more. No political arrangement, no borders, no government, holds the kingdom of God. Now there is only the “Israel of God,” who are those who “behave in accordance with this rule,” which is the cross of Christ and the new creation that he produces, Galatians 6.14-16.
Although no map holds the kingdom now, God’s transformations occur not only in the inner person. He changes where we walk and live, the clock and calendar we use.
This transformation of space and time came to Levi, Mark 2.13-17.
First, there was teaching.
Jesus went out again by the sea. The whole crowd came to him, and he taught them.
Then, there was the direct, unconditional calling of the publican.
As he went along, he saw Levi, the son of Alphaeus, sitting at the tax booth. “Follow me,” he said to him.
Then came the unconditional response.
And he got up and followed him.
A life that follows Jesus is one that receives him in every place and space, beginning at home.
Jesus was having a meal in Levi’s home.
Jesus not only brings his presence but many disciples as well, that saving, sanctifying community, to impact the lost.
many tax collectors and sinners were eating with Jesus and his disciples, for there were many who followed him.
When a home is opened to Christ for his purpose, criticisms will follow.
When the experts in the law and the Pharisees saw that he was eating with sinners and tax collectors, they said to his disciples, “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?”
But the Lord answers for his followers, establishing his purpose for himself and for them.
When Jesus heard this he said to them, “Those who are healthy don’t need a physician, but those who are sick do. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”
Levi’s home was once a place of selfishness and disregard for others. It has now become the place of sacrifice and mission.
It was once the place of loneliness and estrangement, but now, with the welcoming of Jesus and his disciples, becomes the site of healing and reconciliation.
Time that was once used for self, wasted, devoted to frivilous activities, is now redeemed for the salvation of souls who stand in need.
God transforms lives. He also transforms our spaces and times. In this process, he also transforms our eternal destiny.
Will you permit him to do this to your soul, to your time, to your place?