Too often, we view Christ's great works THEN as exalted and his power today, NOW, as questionable.
Is there anything that is happening in you that is changing your wants—that is changing your thoughts---that is changing your way of thinking---that is changing your values---that is changing your direction---that is changing your goals—that is changing your ideals? Are you in the transformation mode? Jesus did not just ask us to follow him, but to become like him. Are you in the transformation mode?
If you had lived around Jesus, how would you have responded to him? Maybe one of the best ways to answer this question, “How would have responded to Jesus Then” is to ask an even more important question, and that is, “How do you respond to Jesus Now?” Too often, we view Christ's great works THEN as exalted and his power today, NOW, as questionable.
Regarding the role of the Holy Spirit in your life, is there any expectation? Do you have any expectation of the Holy Spirit being in your daily life? Is there any expectation how or when he will powerfully move within you or your congregation as a whole?
Last year my wife spent the whole afternoon on a Saturday, landscaping and pulling up weeds in the backyard. After she finished, Karen came into the house, showered, got dressed and then went shopping, leaving all the debris scattered throughout the yard.
As I was looking out the window viewing the mess, my daughter,Valerie, had just come down the stairs and I mentioned to her about all the debris Karen left. Pointing out the window, I asked, “Valerie, why would your mom invest so much time and energy working in the backyard to just leave it like that, debris everywhere?” Without blinking an eye she responded, “Because she expects you to clean up after her.” Expectation!
The reason Karen was willing to exert all of that time and energy in the backyard was because she had expectation that I would do something, act, move, respond. Maybe the reason we do not notice the personal involvement of the Holy Spirit in our lives or congregation is that we have little, if any, expectation that, he, the Holy Spirit, will do anything. This may explain why so many Christians just show up to church and go through the motions and hope the preacher ends on time, because we have no expectation that God’s Spirit, will do anything.
The mission of Apollo 13 was called a successful failure in that the astronauts returned safely back to earth but never made it to the moon. It is essential that Christians, the church, never consider themselves as successful failures, in that, we one day safely enter the gates of heaven but never made an impact within the lives of others while on this earth. Successful Failures, in my opinion, is what is written on the tombstones of Christians who have no expectation regarding the Holy Spirit.
With a Word, through the Word, (Jesus) spoke creation into existence. God became human, grace with skin on it, and he spoke, he healed, he cried, he raised people from the dead, he rose himself from the dead. God’s mighty activity has always been and continues to be at work among us and scripture records, my paraphrase, Jesus Ain’t Enough. You need something more….someone more…you, me, we, need the Holy Spirit. What will the Holy Spirit do or no longer do, today, I cannot say. But whether I am looking into his word or gazing into the heavens above, I wonder when the Spirit will move within me and my church next and with great expectation, what that wonder will be.
Is there anything that is happening in you that is changing your wants—that is changing your thoughts---that is changing your way of thinking---that is changing your values---that is changing your direction---that is changing your goals—that is changing your ideals? Are you in the transformation mode?
The resurrected Jesus is this majestic Jesus. No one and no thing looks like this Jesus. His eyes are like flames of fire. When he speaks, his voice thunders. He is awesome in presence. The Apostle John felt a bit more comfortable with the JESUS THEN, so much so that he would actually recline on Jesus’ breast, but, with the JESUS NOW, he falls to his feet as if dead.
JESUS NOW boldly claims, “I am the Living One. I died, but look, I am alive forever and ever.” He boasts: “I hold the keys to death and the grave.” Everything that has the capacity to terrify me, to destroy me, he holds complete power over it, death and the grave. This JESUS THEN…… he’s approachable but the JESUS NOW is a powerful force to reckon with and I have to ask myself, “Is he safe? Is he gentle? If I approach him for forgiveness, again, for the same sins, again…………will he raise his voice? Will he take time to listen to me? Does he care what I have to say?” And how does the JESUS NOW respond to John to reassure him? He touches him and says, “Don’t be afraid.”
Professional Reviews The Perspective From A Young Christian
Allen Bolden, a Christian of two years wrote,
Are You In The Transformation Mode? Jesus Then and Now is an ever-present challenge for me and the "Christian culture" we have created. We have found comfort in our own attainment rather than the atonement of Jesus. Christ’s great works "then" are exalted and his power today questioned. We love our system about God over loving God himself. Jesus Then and Now challenges us to the core of our evolved paradigm. I am also encouraged to remember that Jesus (God in the flesh) not only saves sinners, but wants to be near to us. As we interact with non-believers as well as other believers we are reminded that people have real problems and need real solutions. As this book puts it,
"Why do we starve ourselves when we have so much access to power?"
I am encouraged to take this challenge of having faith that through the Holy Spirit, Jesus can show himself more powerful than ever in our families, our nation, and the entire world.
Allen is a twenty-five year old Certified Public Accountant. He and
his wife, Olivia resides in Nashville, Tennessee. I personally requested his endorsement because he is most certainly in The Transformation Mode.
Perspective From A Seasoned Christian
Brent Dennard, a Christian of twenty- six years wrote,
Ernie Heavin does a remarkable job depicting Are You In The Transformation Mode? Jesus Then and Now by relating current day Jesus Now through thought provoking real life situations that cause you to reflect back on Jesus Then. After reading the book, you will see that Ernie clearly relates how Jesus is the same today, tomorrow and forever. For we are all born as sinners and saved by God’s extravagant grace. Through my life journey, God has always been there and never strayed. His word is the same today as in the past. Too often we try to make Christianity a complicated faith and are unaware that God made trusting in him so clear that even a child can understand it. We, as Christians need to humble ourselves daily at the cross of Jesus.
Brent and his wife, Patti, live in Georgetown, Kentucky. Together, they own and operate the local Chick-fil-A store. I personally requested his endorsement because he models the Christian who is in The Transformation Mode.
Perspective From A Seasoned Professor and Preacher
Are You In The Transformation Mode? is a good book; a really good book. This, as an opening statement in a Foreword, may seem to be a bit forward and pre- mature, but I had no choice if I was to catch and convey the spirit of the contents of this book.
From the first page, Ernie rubs the reader's nose in the contents of the book and, happily, into the core of the Christ-like life. Like a dentist probing an abscessed and aching tooth, Ernie probes the recesses of the reader's inner self with this haunting question: "Is there anything that is happening in you that is changing your wants - that is changing your thoughts - that is changing you way of thinking - ...your values...your direction...your goals...your ideals...?" He asks repeatedly: "Are you in the transformation mode?" And he reminds the reader that "Jesus did not just ask us to follow him, but to become like him."
Ernie accomplishes this noble goal by transporting the reader back in time to a "Jesus Then" and the response given to the "God-man," and then lets the reader experience vicariously what our response might have been had we been a Pharisee or the Twelve or his family or, perhaps, even the Centurion. With which of these would the reader most likely identify?
Then, he brings the reader back to the present by introducing the "Jesus Now," and he gives us pause by asking, "How are you responding to Jesus Now?" The remainder of the book is devoted to exploring the Way which leads to that transformation.
So, from the very get-go the reader knows where Ernie is going, and where he is going is where the reader knows in his inner self that one ought to be going - a well-marked - but often overlooked - trail leading to a cleansing first of the inside of the cup. (I love books that get to the point early!) Well, so much for this brief overview of the contents. I'll leave to Ernie to fill in the informative, and often, disturbing details.
Furthermore, the book is written in an easy-to-read style: he's transparent, leaving himself vulnerable, thus identifying himself with the reader. The reader sees Ernie in the book, involved in the same process of transformation to which he is calling the reader. He also pulls the reader into the book by asking that disturbing question at the end of each chapter: Essentially, 'Is there anything happening in you that is changing you?'
*He uses language the common man or woman on the street can understand.
*His metaphors are real.
*His illustrations are rich.
*His beginning (Jesus) and his ending (Jesus) are right on target for the fulfilling life we all long for.
*The dynamic throughout the book is "Transformation." Jesus walking before us and beside us (Jesus Then and Jesus Now) is acting upon us, transforming us into his own likeness.