The Christian life is a life of transformation. God’s unconditional love transforms my heart, His word transforms my mind, and the gospel and the Holy Spirit have “invaded my days and my humanity” to transform my soul. Why? Because God created me to glorify Him and enjoy Him forever…and forever starts now!
Eternal Life is not just about how long my life is but how full it is. It’s an ability to live with a depth of engagement…Life with a capital L is a capacity Jesus gives me to fully embrace my humanity and experience the privilege of being human.”
– Matt Heard
When my brother gave me Matt Heard’s book, Life with a Capital L: Embracing Your God-Given Humanity a few years ago, I was immediately intrigued by the recommendation on the cover: “Matt Heard is a fresh new voice with a…Life-changing message” that “will deepen your walk with God and elevate your life to the level of Life” (Mark Batterson). With the style of both theologian and therapist, Matt Heard invites the reader to do “life in a way that goes beyond what is normally experienced by human beings, but not beyond what was originally intended.”
Every summer, our headmaster, Robbie Hinton, asks the staff to read a book. As I was reading Life with a Capital L, I noticed several connections with the books we have read the last two summers (Leadership and Self-Deception: Getting Out of the Box by The Arbinger Institute and Mindset: How We Can Learn to Fulfill our Potential by Carol S. Dweck), so I recommended the book for our summer reading.
Matt Heard presents many transformational truths in his book, but the most significant truth for me was his chapter about freedom. God frees us from the box, our prison cell of sin, shame, and guilt, through confession and repentance and then renews our minds to experience the fulfilling life he intended for us. In John 5:24, Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life.” We are free from eternal condemnation. Heard writes, “the possibilities for Life-giving liberation abound: aimlessness gives way to purpose, guilt is relieved by forgiveness, shame is replaced by acceptance, restlessness is subdued by shalom, insight replaces confusion, hope overcomes despair, completeness occupies the emptiness, and significance overtakes superficiality. My shackled heart can experience freedom.”
We have been redeemed from a meaningless life. Jesus gives us life in all its fullness–spiritual and physical. God has promised everything we need for life and godliness, not simply to exist, but to enjoy the fullness of life as human beings created in the image of God (2 Peter 1:3; John 10:10). We experience life in the spiritual realm. We have been justified. We have been sanctified. We have received the Holy Spirit. We have the promises in His word. And we also engage in the “physical, tangible experiences of human life.”
Relationships: We have connections with family and friends.
Senses: We enjoy the world around us through our senses – seeing, hearing, smelling, touching, and tasting.
Health: We have the capacity to stay fit and well, to rest and recreate.
Intellect: We expand our minds as we learn about the world we live in.
Emotions: We can experience and express emotions.
Creativity: We can imagine things and make things.
Vocation: We can contribute to the world through our occupations.
Material: We can acquire food, shelter, and clothing.
Culture: We enrich our families, our churches, and our communities through service.
Environment: We appreciate and care for creation.
God has removed the boundary between secular and spiritual. God has redeemed us from an “empty way of life” (1 Peter 1:18) and has called us to fully experience our integrated humanity. Embrace this truth that transforms, and let the living begin!
Often, when I read a book, I like to use my notes to write prayers or affirmations to regularly remind me of the truths that transform…
Father, thank you that I am becoming fully human under the grace and guidance of Jesus, Your unconditional love through the Holy Spirit, and the promises in Your word. Thank You for forgiving me and allowing me to experience the original fulfilling life You intended for me. Thank You for caring about my heartbreaks and unfulfilled longings—they are mirrors of my soul that guide me to You. When I go through broken experiences, help me to embrace them because I know they will continue to transform me, and I will become more authentic, humble, gracious, less judgmental, and more teachable.
Thank You for Your life-giving forgiveness and restoration when You hear the heart-cry of my confession. Thank you that I can love you with all my heart—the heart that activates and enhances my humanity. I praise you, the Author of beauty—a portal through which I gain a glimpse of You. Thank you for the Bible – that it is a book not only about Christianity but about restored, redeemed, and thriving humanity. Thank You for the privilege of being human.
Thank You for giving my life purpose—the gifts, personality, experiences, abilities, and journey—the unique story You gave me. Help me to be a conduit (instead of a container) of the love You have given me. As I embrace Your forgiveness, help me to battle bitterness by forgiving others. Help me to recognize and seize the Life-giving kairos moments (time infused with potential and possibilities) around me—to look to see, listen to hear, eat to taste, inhale with awareness of the fragrance, talk, and think.
Thank You for setting eternity in my heart. Thank You that heaven, eternity, and immortality are not an escape but a compass pointing to my destiny. Thank You that when my earthly journey ends, I will be fully restored. My transformation will be complete!