“’For I know the plans I have for you,’ says the Lord. ‘They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope’” (Jeremiah 29:11).

Whether we are talking about the proper diet and exercise routine or about transforming our character flaws, there is an awkward place of self-denial, battling temptation, where Christ’s Spirit invites us to follow His inner voice. You have a choice: stay the way you are or step into God’s version of you.

We have access to God’s wisdom and also to His power! He can create a great new you for your life. Francois Rabelais said, “I place no hope in my strength, nor in my works; but all my confidence is in God, my protector, who never abandons those who have put all their hopes and thought in Him.”

So what does God want for you? He wants to be activated in your life. He wants you to know Him with His grace that covers your life in its entirety. He also wants you to bear fruit for the kingdom. The Love of Christ controls us, which means every encounter we have is seen through His lens. How would Jesus handle this situation, this person, this obstacle? It most always entails extending grace and courage. Our relationship with Christ brings about new relationships with the people around us.

A battered and scarred violin was up for auction and the auctioneer didn’t want to waste too much time on it, so he held it up and asked, “Who will start the bidding?” One person said “A dollar.” Another said, “Two,” and then, there was, “Three dollars.” “Going once, going twice.” From the back of the room, a gray-haired man came forward and picked up the bow, wiping the dust off and tightening the loose strings. He played a melody that was pure and sweet. When he stopped, the auctioneer again asked, “Any other bids for the old violin?” A hand went up. “One thousand dollars.” Then, came another, “Two thousand,” and finally, “Three thousand dollars.” “Going, going, gone.” The people cheered; some cried. One person was confused and asked the person next to him, “What changed its worth?” The man next to him said, “The touch of the master’s hand.” How many of us have our lives out of tune because we’ve been battered and scattered by sin? If auctioned off, we think we’d go cheap. But the Master defines our souls as something precious, if only we let His hand touch our lives. He has called you for something special.

Adapted from “The New You” by Rev. Dr. William A. Lewis