REFLECTION: Looking back on the last 9 months of this year:
- What have I learned?
- What should I have done differently? Why?
2 Corinthians 5:17-18
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; Old things have passed away, all things have become new. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciles us to Himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation.
The reason for this blog is to remind us “God is reconciling us (literally restoring our relationship with Him), making us new, to become more and more like the One we follow: Jesus Christ.” There are obstacles we face, things in our lives which hinder us from becoming new yet at the same time God is woking in our lives to reconcile us to Himself to give us opportunities to minister to others.
Ever notice how a new car has a smell about it. How an old car has a distinct odor about it. Most things around us disintegrate, you begin to realize the new becomes old.
How about new shoes... They smell good... Old Shoes - Smell… you keep them on the porch
The place I grew up - Russell KY, ARMCO Steel (which no longer exists), The Aroma - well after a few months you don't even notice it any more.
LIKE AREA AROMAS WE GET USED TO THE OLD AND SETTLE IN.
We desire something new, We want adventure. But we settle for status quo, literally "the way things are now"
Which do you desire most? The new or the old?
TO HOLD THE NEW ONE MUST LET GO OF THE OLD.
How do we do this?
Hebrews 12:1-2 Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,
LESSONS TO FOLLOW TO FINISH THE RACE... TO ACHIEVE THE GOAL.
“Precepts instructs us what things are our duty, but examples assure us they are possible.”
"Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles."
THROW OFF HINDRANCES
"One of the best indicators that you have entered the race toward transformation is to discover that certain things, which before never bothered you - now you are aware they are a hindrance.
The more you run the race the more conscience you are of weights.
. . . burdened with the unbearable weight of ourselves. Joseph Joubert (1754-1824)
No one is able to stand up indefinitely under the weight of carrying a grudge.
You don't have to carry a backpack of unforgiveness the rest of your natural life.
Ephesians 4:32 (ESV) 32 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
Every person is confronted with fear at some point in his/her life.
Philippians 4:6-7 commands us to, "Be anxious for nothing but let our requests be known to God in prayer and His peace will guard our hearts and minds (NKJV)."
One of my greatest fears when I was younger was heights. I decided early to face my fears and climb.
2. THE SIN THAT SO EASILY ENTANGLES:
1 John 1:9, IF we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Only one way to have a new beginning –
CHOOSE TO END THE OLD! PUT ON THE NEW.
Christ came that we might have a new beginning, a new birth. John 3:7
New things in the new creation
A new Aim - new goal: become like Jesus.
A new Activity, walk by faith
A new Assurance - HOPE!
A new Determination -
Proverbs 16:3 Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.
When God is in it, When God is helping us, We accomplish the goal
Adrian Rogers, Sermon, “All Things New” Acts 9,
“A Christian is not just somebody who's become nice, he becomes new. He doesn't just turn over a new leaf. He receives a new life. We are TRANSFORMED radically and dramatically. A Christian is not like a tadpole that has become a frog. He's gone through a series of changes, but basically he's same creature. No, a Christian is more like a frog who has received the kiss of grace and become a prince.”
Paul gives a simple daily process
Ephesians 4:22-24 ESV
22. ...PUT OFF THE OLD SELF, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires,
- QUIT GOIN BACK TO THE OLD
23 AND TO BE RENEWED IN THE SPIRIT OF YOUR MINDS,
- THE BATTLE IS THE MIND
24 AND TO PUT ON THE NEW SELF, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.
We show the way by following Jesus and allowing His Word and His voice to lead us to full transformation.
God is not finished working on me and He is not finished working on you either.
Lamentations 3:21-23 ESV
21 But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: 22 The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; 23 they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
Take a moment and invite God to do something new in your life.
What would you like to change about yourself in the next three months?
What are your plans for spiritual growth in 2023?
What one word would you pick as a theme for your life in 2023?
A song sang by George Beverly Shea in Billy Graham Crusades,
"I have decided to follow Jesus, no turning back, no turning back."
This is the attitude we must take on for our selves, "I have decided to follow Jesus."