TRANSFORMED BY HIS LOVE                    Dr. John Perkins
To carry out God’s work, we must allow ourselves to be transformed by his love. Being transformed is a process that takes our entire lives, and we must remember that; we must bear in mind that we will not be perfected all at once.
The process does, however, have a beginning point, at which we agree to allow God to work in our lives and to change us into the likeness of his Son. Until the process of transformation begins in us, we cannot love others as we must to demonstrate God’s love to them.
And unless we ourselves have experienced the transforming love of God personally, we cannot expect God’s love to transform others. Let me first talk about transformation. We are transformed as we are made aware, as we discover, God’s love for us.
Jesus told his followers, “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it” (Matt.13:44-46).
This parable tells us to cherish the kingdom of God above all else: “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness” (Matt. 6:33 KJV). Now, the love of God is bringing about the kingdom, is making us into the kingdom, as it reconciles us to God and to each other, as it motivates and enables us to do God’s will. “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven” (Matt. 6:10 KJV).
In order to cherish the kingdom, then, we need to cherish the Gospel, the demonstration of the love of God, the same way.
When I first encountered the love of God, I treasured it because I had longed for love all of my life.
I grew up without a mother and without a father. I grew up without the certainty of love in my life. I ached to be loved. Then, in a little Holiness mission in Pasadena, California, over thirty-five years ago, I heard Galatians 2:20 (KJV), “I have been crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me”.
When I heard that God loved me enough to give himself in his Son for me, I reached out for that love. I wanted that certainty of love. As I understood more of God’s love for me, and the extremity of the sacrifice he made for me, I began to be transformed, little by little. I was overpowered by God’s love that morning, and I wanted to share it with those whom I was coming in contact with.
And as the love of God worked in my life, it was changing me so that God could use my life to demonstrate his love for others – and he is still at work in me today.