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What are we going to do? Change the world!

Posted by Ruthie Hankins , 06 April 2013 · 2564 views

Like many people during the last few weeks, I watched THE BIBLE (at least parts of it) on the History Channel. The scene that stuck with me is when Peter thinks back to his encounter with Jesus in the fishing boat. Jesus tells Peter to follow him. Peter asks, "What are we going to do?" Jesus' response is memorable--"Change the world!"

I've pondered this over the past few days. At least some of the disciples expected that Jesus was going to change the world by overthrowing the Roman government. Many of the Jewish leaders thought that Jesus would undermine their authority and traditions, and they were afraid of that kind of change. The crowds hoped the change might be that he would continue to provide free food and miraculous "health care" for everyone and raise their loved ones from the dead.

But as you follow the story in the book of Acts and on through church history, you have to admit that none of these was the change Jesus was talking about. The change he anticipated was more fundamental. Jesus' purpose was to change people, to change us. He changed our way of relating to God. He changed our ability to live honorably and to treat others with compassion and forgiveness by empowering us with the Holy Spirit. He changed the way we face suffering and death. The change this brings to our world--to governments, organizations, communities, families, relationships--is secondary. It happens as we allow Jesus to mold us into his image and then walk with him day by day and do what he prompts us to to.

Every day I am bombarded with calls, ads, mailings, Facebook appeals or whatever to "help change the world." A few of those may represent a call from God as well. But unless I'm first answering the call to be changed myself, any effort I make to change the world will have pretty meager results.

I've been a believer for decades and usually think I've made a lot of progress. But then I'm taken by surprise (I really shouldn't be) when out of nowhere I respond unkindly to someone, I get angry, I want to retaliate, I doubt that God really knows what he's doing, etc., etc., etc. I can look back 5, 15, 30 years and see how God has changed me, and I'm so glad he has promised to continue that process. Though I don't have the whole picture right now, I believe the he is changing the world, little by little, as I allow him to change me.

  • Judy Collins, Julie Daube, Charlotte Bonck and 2 others like this

Julie Daube
Apr 08 2013 07:48 AM
Very inspiring, encouraging post! Thanks for sharing your thoughts!
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Joan Phillips
Apr 10 2013 10:51 AM
Ruthie, I agree with Julie. Inspiring post. How can we "change the world" if we are not changed inside - a change that comes only through Jesus, who makes us able ministers of His new covenant, not of the letter but of the spirit; for the letter kills but the spirit gives life.
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