Core Values Series: Jesus-Centered Transformation 

This is part 3 of our 3-part First Image Core Values series. If you haven’t already, read part 1, “Unqualified Compassion” and part 2, “Redemptive Conviction.”

We believe that the deepest sort of transformation happens through encountering the person of Jesus. This is the motivation that has animated the work of First Image from the beginning. The gospel has been our reason for entering the lives of women facing unsupported pregnancy, as well as those who are seeking forgiveness and healing from past abortion. It is the central why of our work, and it is also the how.   

The Gospel transforms a person when he or she believes that God sent His only Son to live His life in perfect obedience to the Father, and He offered Himself as the sacrifice for our sins on the cross in our place; therefore, we can be forgiven and transformed as we follow Jesus who is our resurrected Lord. 

A few days ago, one of our volunteers who had been out of the center for over a year because of the pandemic, led two women to Jesus. She had been praying that when she came back into the center God would give her this gospel opportunity.  

We can’t make that sort of thing happen. We don’t force any of our clients to talk about spiritual things, but we will go as far with them as they invite us to. Rebirth doesn’t happen every day, but we know that when we are open to the presence of Jesus, and willing to go to those deepest places with the people we serve, incredible things can happen, and often do. 

Even though we don’t always have the ability to talk explicitly about Jesus and share his Good News, we work at all times to demonstrate the love of Jesus. We do this by coming close to the brokenhearted, providing for their very real needs, upholding them with practical support, and with words of encouragement and truth. This too reflects the heart of God, who says:  

“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”  

For us, the whole work from top to bottom is all about the transformation that Jesus offers to the whole person.  

Without a doubt, the Heart program is one of the places where we see this play out dramatically. If you aren’t already aware, Heart is a ministry that seeks to lift the burden of abortion through Jesus-focused support and recovery groups.  

One of my friends went through Heart, and she likes to say that before she entered the program she believed she had been forgiven, but she hadn’t yet experienced healing. There was still transformative work to be done, and that meant going deep with Jesus and other women who were seeking that same transformation.  

Jesus-Centered Transformation is not only on offer for the people we serve. We also realize that doing the work, and partnering with the ministry of First Image, provides so many opportunities for you and I to encounter Jesus too. We find that if we stay in it, we can’t help but grow and be shaped more into the Image of Christ.  

Your fellow follower,
Luke Cirillo