Monday, January 5, 2009

Extreme Makeover for the New Year

Don't you love a professional makeover? getting your nails done? relaxing as a hairdresser washes your hair? Ah-h-h-h Good stuff!

I remember as a teenager the fun my friends and I had playing around with cosmetics and making ourselves into gorgeous and glamorous gals all with innovative makeup techniques and hair style products. Sometimes we were a little too creative. But, hey, it was fun. After all, having a new fresh face feels good; helping a friend achieve a new look can be pretty exhilarating, too.

Not only do I enjoy a personal makeover, but also I thoroughly enjoy watching those TV makeover shows. On the original Extreme Makeover, a team of specialists redesigned their clients in some pretty drastic ways, including surgery to correct or enhance their physical appearance. Today, we have the Extreme Home Makeovers where a family's home receives a much-needed face lift. In both cases, the results are dramatic, even jaw-dropping. I must admit that I've shed a tear or two over the incredible changes produced on these shows. But ...

There is an Extreme Makeover that far exceeds and outshines the above examples. That's right, it gets better! As Christians, we receive the best makeover of all, by the best Creator, Artist, and Designer of all -- Jesus Christ!

2 Corinthians 5:17 tells us: If anyone is in Christ, he/she is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!

We're not talking about an old outdated hairstyle getting an "upgrade." Oh, no, we're talking about a complete and total mind, body, and soul makeover. This isn't an improved version of the old. God's Word tells us we are totally NEW CREATIONS IN CHRIST.

The old is gone. Gone. We are brand new ... born again.

It's so common this time of year to start making those New Year's resolutions. Many of us seek out information to help us make the changes we desire. But, friends, as my pastor put it so perfectly this past weekend -- Mere information won't bring life transformation.

That truth hit my heart right on target. The only book that truly is alive is God's Word. Within its pages we will discover what it means to be new creations and how to live out our new identities right here, right now. Yes, the Bible is a book with information, yet a story of complete and total transformation in Christ. You can experience your very own transformation story.

Keep in mind, when Christ makes us over, we might not see the visible work right away like we do with a home makeover or face lift, but, over time, our "newness" will shine through in our character; we will produce the fruit of our new nature -- The Fruit of the Spirit. And amazingly, for many of us, our outsides start changing right a long with our insides.

Friends, receiving a master makeover from the Master Makeover Artist is reason to cry tears of joy and celebrate for eternity.

I usually don't share the following photograph, but a picture is worth a thousand words, right? You might remember me sharing that before Christ I was addicted to heroin, cocaine, cigarettes, destructive and promiscuous relationships, and a ton of other sinful junk. It's been eleven years, this month, since I've used drugs and I've been walking in sexual purity for almost as long. Oh, the cigarettes went goodbye around the same time, too. Praise God!

In Revelation we are told that the enemy, our enemy, the devil, is defeated by the blood of the lamb and the word of our testimony. I guess a simple paraphrase might be: Our extreme makeovers inspire others to turn their lives over to the Master Creator. If you feel like God can't change you. You're wrong. He can. He will, if you'll let Him.

Carol before Christ: Not a pretty picture. Addiction is not attractive. Eventually, our rotting insides (that's what sin does rots our souls) become visible on the outside.

Keep going ...

To see the after Christ photo.

Carol (me) now ... after the ultimate Makeover. Yes, I'm wearing Princess Warrior attire -- Crown, Scepter, and Sword (all the royal trimmings). After all, in Christ, we're royalty!

Don't give up. Let God make you over into the woman He's called you to be. 2009 is a great year for a fresh start.

God bless you!


Hope said...

What a wonderful way to view the new year. Why settle for just an external make over when we can be completely new! I agree with you 100%! By the way your "after" photo isn't showing up! :(

Bernadine said...

Awesome what God is able to do in our lives if we let Him.
Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing Carol. It's a wonderful story, one that I need to claim for myself. I need to learn to let go and truly trust our Father.

God bless you forever my friend and sister.

~ Cindy