“That, however; is not the way of life you learned when you heard about Christ and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” Ephesians 4:20-24
Paul is telling the Ephesians that because they are now followers of Jesus, they can no longer live like the Gentiles who shamelessly dwell in their sin. People should be able to see a distinct difference between those who are in Christ, and those who are not. Living the Christian life is a process for us, just as it was for the Ephesians. Although we are made new when we are born again, God is constantly transforming us. If we are not being transformed, then perhaps we are still hanging on to our “old self.” We cannot truly live for Christ if we are living in the past. “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past” (Isaiah 43:18). Sometimes putting on our “new self” may be a daily struggle or process, but Paul says not to be discouraged because even though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day (2 Corinthians 4:16).
This is a good reminder to me that even though I am in Christ, I need to make sure that I am praying and in the Word daily so as to allow God to renew and transform me. If I lose sight of God, it could be easy for me to fall into the ways of the world. Though I may not outwardly behave like them, I will start to think like them; becoming easily angered and unforgiving, holding grudges, and allowing old hurts and bitterness from my past to creep back in. Satan then tries to rationalize these feelings, but I know that this is directly against God’s Word, and therefore, a lie. Every day, I have to invite the Holy Spirit to be with me and guide me so that I can live out my “new self,” the self that was created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. 1 Peter 1:15-16 says, “But just as he who called you is holy, be holy in all you do; for it is written: Be holy because I am holy.”
Heavenly Father, I pray that You would help us to see the ways that You have transformed us. When we look to our past, let it only be so that we can be more in awe of You and all that You have done in our lives. Continue to renew us day by day, and keep our hearts and minds open to you so that we can live in accordance to Your truth. Lord, help us to completely put off our old self so that when we are in the world, Your light would shine bright through us, and there would be no doubt that we belong to you. In Jesus’ name, Amen!
Kristin Pastor, Nursery Team