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Scripture Passage: 2 Cor. 3:17-18

     “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”


Devotional Entry:  

Wine is often a symbol of transformation, and the process of simple grapes being transformed into something extraordinary, distinctive and valuable is a work of craftsmanship and dedication to a defined process. New wine can only happen when grapes are broken and crushed, the whole into parts, the parts integrated back into the whole. The grape transforms itself only by being crushed by man. Through this simple yet complex process what flows from the grapes is something it could not produce on its own. In our lives we may go through times of brokenness, times where we may feel like we are being crushed. God, the master craftsman, uses times of hardship, struggle and frustration as a way of transformation, and His desire is for each one of us to be more like Jesus. His heart is for his children to be whole and holy. That means being complete and set apart for his purposes, but it does not mean being perfect. The difference between us and the grapes is that we have a choice. When I contemplate the mystery of free will, it boggles my mind, that the sovereign God would give his creation the ability to choose…amazing! But if you really think about it, it totally makes sense. If you want someone to love you, they would have to have the option to choose otherwise. Too often we allow our fears, our pride or even our comfort to stand in the way of transformation. If we trust in God’s goodness, His graciousness and the great love that He has for us, the things that hold us back will dissolve and will be replaced by the wonder of what his transformational love can do. Under the Lord’s masterful hand, all the riches of the kingdom are ours, so the fruit of the spirit can be enjoyed by the believer and those in their sphere of influence.


Challenge:

In what area of your life do you feel like you’re being broken or crushed? Ask the Lord what he may be in the midst of transforming in your heart. How have you seen God do a work in your life to transform you or your situation? Think about who or how you can share this testimony of God’s goodness. 2 Tim 1:7 “For God did not give us the spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline.”