The word, “transformation” might conjure up radio jingles for child behavioral programs, total body makeovers, weight loss goals and biological processes like metamorphosis. Many of us who grew up in comfortable, Christian homes don’t often think about the transformation that begins within us the moment we accept Christ as our Savior. We are in danger of being inattentive to the ongoing change, the ever increasing glory that God wants us to enjoy and our lives to display.
“But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.”
1 Corinthians 3:18
Redeemed! Embracing a Transformed Life, by Kerry Clarensau, takes readers past the surface expectations of a cultural Christian, and invites them to discover, accept, experience and rejoice in the newness of life God designed for them. Through memorable anecdotes, probing questions and a structure that encourages group participation, Clarensau leads her readers to see their past and present as God’s way of lovingly transforming them into the image of His Son. She frames even painful situations in such a way as to highlight God’s promises of good to those who love Him, and that He has a future and a hope for each one. (Romans 8:28, Jeremiah 29:11)
At first glance, the book looks formidable. Hardcover with a thick spine and attached ribbon bookmark, I didn’t expect it to be a light read or an in depth Bible study with application questions and space to journal about my transformation. I got both!
The book is designed as a six week study. Each of the six chapters addresses a specific area of life that God is in the process of renewing in every believer. Clarensau begins by explaining the need for transformation, God’s means of effecting it, and then offers specific strategies to cooperate with God’s work in us. A set of group discussion questions is next, followed by five days of personal study using Scripture references and prompts for journaling. The book includes two appendices with dozens of carefully selected Scriptures on the sufficiency of Christ and developing healthy relationships.
I did not use this book in a group setting but it spoke to me very personally, specifically the chapter on transforming our perspective. Clarensau’s listed strategies, while not wholly new to me, were a timely encouragement to see my present circumstances from God’s perspective.
No one who reads this book will escape without having their faith strengthened, their hearts challenged to stretch and grow, and their spirits quickened to pursue Christ-likeness. Clarensau’s humility combined with bold instruction make this book a valuable tool for every Christian who desires to run with endurance the race set before [them] fixing [their] eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of [their] faith.