When I was younger, I believed there would come a time when I had “arrived.” Once I was married, had a family, a home, and a calling that was on course, I was certain I would settle in, kick back, and enjoy the ride. However, as the years have gone by, I’ve learned that life is a journey, not a destination! In fact, as a disciple of Jesus, understanding this has been critical to my growth. Since God’s Kingdom is “upside-down” and the treasures of this world mean little in the spiritual realm, success now has a different meaning. Though I love the idea of getting to a place of nirvana on earth, I’ve come to understand that…
Embracing change is the hallmark of Christian happiness.
For as long as I’m journeying on this sphere, I’ll be learning, growing, and surrendering myself to the Lord’s artistry. Just as a butterfly must go through a process of complete metamorphosis before it breaks free to fly, so we, as believers, need to be transformed from glory to glory to walk in the fullness of our new nature. But how does this happen? As we watch the process of rebirth in Creation, we see the unfolding of a series of steps that we can liken to our own spiritual growth. They get us from where we are now to where God wants us to be, and they happen in a cycle that is constantly repeating in different areas of our lives, and at different times. Here’s a brief overview:
- We Feed. Like a hungry caterpillar lives to forage for food and determinedly chomps away at leaves all day long, when we’re seeking transformation in any area, it’s vital to feed on the Word of God. The Bible contains thousands of promises of hope, healing, and deliverance, and they are all “yes and amen” in Christ Jesus. As we search the Scriptures to see what the Lord says about our situation, we can take His truth “to the bank,” knowing that as we nourish our spirits, we will be strengthened and helped.
- We Freeze. The Bible says to “cease striving and know that He is God,” and like the cottony cocoon that a caterpillar spins in which to hide himself, the Lord invites us to take refuge under His wings as we await transformation. When we’re holding to His promises and we’ve done what we can to further the process on our own, we can entrust our situation to Him, find shelter in His sufficiency, and let Him do the work of metamorphosis.
- We Break Free. Once a caterpillar has morphed into a butterfly, its cocoon is still intact, so it breaks out slowly. Similarly, as the Lord begins changing us in different areas of our lives, it will be a process. Yes, there is such a thing as miraculous deliverance, but this is not the norm. Most often, we make progress by gaining one inch at a time. And though it requires patience, even if we take two steps forward and one step back, with our hand in His, we will get there.
- We Fly. Nothing is as majestic as the sight of a butterfly after it’s broken out of its shell. With graceful ease, it spreads its colorful wings and takes flight above the flowers and trees, capturing the attention of everyone watching. And while on this earth we won’t know what it feels like to fly in this way, when any part of us is transformed by the Holy Spirit’s power, we are set free to soar. No longer bound by the chains of our pain, sin, or struggle, we can bask in the liberty of Christ’s love and radiate His light so brightly that everyone who witnesses wants to know what changed. Then we get to tell them!
Friend, it’s my honor to be on this discipleship journey with you, and it’s my earnest prayer that as you embrace divine transformation, the Lord will meet you with His perfect love and overflowing grace. As He changes you from glory to glory, may you find nourishment in His truth, stillness in His presence, and Holy Spirit-power to break through every challenge so you can take flight in freedom!
Changed By the Love of God!
In a society that’s been turned upside down since the dawn of the pandemic, we’re ready to see transformation. In our hearts, our country, and our culture, we’re longing for hope and positive change. Thankfully, we serve a God who delights in renewing everything, and as we look to Him, He faithfully refines, sculpts, and conforms us into His image. The Potter’s Hand never stops fine-tuning, and as we allow the Holy Spirit to shine on us, His supernatural love flows through our lives to guide, bless, and encourage others. This is how the world changes!
As a reminder to embrace the transforming power of Christ in your life every day, we have a very special gift for you with a donation of just $25 or more to the ministry this month. Our beautiful butterfly suncatcher is hand-painted in vibrant shades of blue, pink, and teal and has a gleaming stained-glass effect. Its shape is formed by an antique copper-finished metal frame, and it’s suspended by a chain adorned with colorful faceted beads. It also includes a suction cup so it can be easily affixed to any door or window.
With your gift of $40 or more, we’ll send the butterfly suncatcher and the “Today I Will Choose Joy” canvas banner + prayer card. Adorned with a charming pink, blue, and gold floral motif with the phrase “Today I Will Choose Joy” front and center, this sturdy fabric wall decoration is suspended from a bamboo rod and string for hanging. It’s accompanied by a matching, frameable 5” x 7” card that features a brief poetic prayer to encourage you as you seek divine transformation.
Request your gift by calling us today at (866) GET-HOPE (438-4673), or visit here.
In the Backyard with Bobby
Hi friends! Welcome to our backyard. It’s not terribly large, but it gives us a place to enlarge our hearts.
Now that it’s summer, the grill tempts me often, and our little family frequently gathers outside for dinner. We also celebrate birthdays, holidays, and the gift of being together around our table, and many hours of conversation with family members and friends happen here.
I learned a long time ago that I need people, and over the past eighteen months — since COVID started — it’s become even clearer. Though I’m independent, relationships enrich my life and my walk with God. Interacting with people shows me my blind spots, encourages me to consider different viewpoints and reveals the Lord’s love to me in new ways. Whether it’s playing with my kids, having a heart-to-heart with Hannah, or hosting a celebration, I feel rich when I’m with others, and this is why I love my backyard!
As a faithful friend of this ministry, I consider you part of my extended family, and although we can’t sit down and share a meal in person, I hold you close to my heart. Wherever you find yourself this summer, I encourage you to spend quality time with the people you love. Enjoy the outdoors, eat some good food, and most importantly, let Jesus use you to bless and uplift those in the 15 feet of space around you. The world needs what you have, and God has perfectly equipped you to share His grace with others. He loves you and so do I!
The POWER of His Master Plan
40 years ago, a middle-aged married couple was watching Hour of Power on a Sunday morning. They responded to the message of faith that was given that day, and they decided to commit their lives to Jesus Christ. For years, they continued to tune into the broadcast — though they became involved in their own local church — and the Lord began tugging at their hearts to support us financially. After prayerful consideration, they decided to remember us in their will and to designate a portion of their estate to the work of our ministry.
35 years later, after they’d both gone to be with Jesus, the dispersion of their assets happened as they planned decades ago. But unbeknownst to them or their family, Hour of Power was wading through some rough waters. Having undergone transitions in location and leadership, we were called to continue our outreach, but it looked humanly impossible. On the verge of taking drastic measures, we received word of a legacy gift and we breathed a sigh of relief. Reminded once again of what an on-time God we serve, He worked through this couple’s stewardship to provide for us in our eleventh hour, and their faithfulness is why we’re here today.
In fact, this scenario is repeated over and over again through the love and generosity of our legacy donors. If you’d like to learn more about how to remember us in your estate planning, we invite you to call us at 714-971-4111 or email email@example.com.
From Transformation to Cultivation
By Russ Jacobson
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Romans 12:2
Do you know the English word metamorphosis? It’s derived from the Greek verb metamorphose, which literally means “change shape.” That Greek word is used four times in the New Testament, including the verse from Romans 12 shown above. In that passage, Paul exhorts us not to conform to worldly things, but rather “to change shape” by the renewing of our mind. Let’s explore what this means.
A significant clue is found in 2 Corinthians 5:17. In that passage, Paul proclaims that we become a new creation when we accept Jesus into our lives. After that decision, “the old has gone, the new is here.” In short, a metamorphosis has occurred! I accepted Jesus as my Savior as a young adult, and I can still remember the transformation that occurred. I spent less time on video games and more time praying. In fact, I became so interested in the Bible that I wound up in seminary just to learn more about the faith — but that is a story for another time.
One of the most noticeable changes after I became a Christian occurred in my finances. I used to be frugal (ok, downright stingy) with my money. After all, I worked hard to earn that money, so I only wanted to spend it on selfish pleasures. However, once I became a believer, I discovered that giving is what brought me true joy — not the latest tech toy. I ultimately came to understand that it is all God’s money, and I am just the temporary steward.
Have you been transformed by the renewing of your mind? I certainly hope so! If not, now is the perfect time to make that move and surrender your life — and everything you have — to Jesus. When you do, you will be amazed at how you are changed. Just like the caterpillar that morphs into a beautiful butterfly, you will be an entirely new creation in Christ. And nothing is more fulfilling than that.
God loves you and so do I,
-Pastor Russ Jacobson
What’s Happening on Hour of Power?
- Upcoming Sermon Series: This month, Pastor Bobby concludes “The World and Culture of the Messiah” and introduces a new series entitled “The Power of the Spoken Word,” which looks at the authority we impart through what we say.
- Special Guests: Last month, we welcomed the Voices of Hope Children’s Choir to the broadcast, in addition to guest preacher Tim Timberlake and Manda Carpenter. If you missed any of them, be sure to catch up at hourofpower.org/episode.
Upcoming Guests: This month, we will welcome interview guest Jason Brown, in addition to musical guests Sean Oliu and the Coastline Cowboys.*
* Programming information is subject to change.
What’s Happening at Shepherd’s Grove?
- Our missions ministry was busy last month putting together “birthday boxes” for local kids in foster care.
- Our outreach team is hosting a soccer camp this month for children in the local community as well as those in foster care.
- Our student ministries are meeting Sundays on Instagram Live for both a message and small group fellowship and are gathering in-person on Wednesday nights.
One thought on “A Time of Transformation”
Don’t think I ever took the time to fully read your newsletter! Thank you for bringing me closer to my Lord and Savior!