New You

Ephesians 4: 22 – 24

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.

I was reminded of this verse today and heard a new liberty in it. This is instruction to cast off our former ways and begin living in our new life created to be like God, bought with the blood of Jesus. I heard some new things today though.

First, I am created to be like God and you are too. This is for the here and now. Is that mind expanding? That is what it means to put on the new man. You and I can walk in this earth like God, as did Jesus. That is the model for your life on earth. This is exactly why God sent us the Holy Spirit, so that we can walk in God-like righteousness and holiness. This isn’t the holier than thou mantra either because there is no arrogance in Christ. We can be others centered and still emotionally and mentally whole. We can walk without blemish when we don his robes. This tends to stretch your brain just a little, at least.

The second thing I got out of today’s reminder is that we are empowered, we have the ability and God given grace, to leave a bunch of junk behind us. I usually think of this verse only in terms of shucking the old me behaviorally, but there is much more opportunity embedded in this verse. We are given the right and ability to bury the sins of our past but also of others. We can leave behind, put off from us, the injuries of the past. Old hurts, bad memories can, and should, be the things of the past. We get to put on a new us each day. Isn’t that good news? This is an ongoing dynamic. You don’t just cast off the old self once. No, you get to bury yesterday’s mess. Today’s mistakes, errors, and sins are tomorrow’s graves. Give it all to God and let Him file it on Pluto for you. Maybe there, we will find it more difficult to dig it up and examine it again.

We are not people who should be looking behind us, but rather new creatures formed in the likeness of God Himself, who look forward, even beyond the horizon. I like the end of the Pirates of the Caribbean movie when Jack Sparrow says, “Bring me that horizon.” That is us, leaning forward, looking for the next opportunity, growing and stretching to our new horizon and then beyond.

Put on your new self, casting away the former one who was laden with too much junk and bad behaviors. Put on your new you who has been transformed by the renewal of your mind in the grace of our Lord.

Fresh Start

2 Corinthians 5: 17               (NIRV)

The old is gone! The new has come!

Hallelujah! Old things are gone and it is a new day! Our old nature is gone and a new creation is born. Yesterday is firmly in the past and it is a bright new day. Last year is behind us and we have a brand new, clean slate upon which to write. The old things are passed away with all their sorrow and worry. If last year was a bit tough, fear not because it is a new day and we all get a do over. We can have new hopes and new dreams. They are not tarnished by last year’s failures, fears or lack. We get to start with a new, fresh, clean outlook. No matter how difficult your past, no matter what restraints hindered you last year or years previous, today is a new day and you get to write the story anyway you wish. Do not even consider your past as you look into your future. The old is gone! It is dead and passed away. Jesus says in Revelation 21: 5, “Behold, I do a new thing.” He makes all things new.

Were you ever hampered by low self-esteem? Did you have a disadvantage past? Were you subject to crippling fears, health challenges, loneliness? Well, I’ve great news for you today! That is all in the past. It is a new year and this new year has in its breath the hope of great and wonderful things for you. You can soar like you never before even dreamed possible. It has the hope of a future. It is a fresh, faced youth with no past only a bright and glorious future. It is forward looking and has belief in all opportunities and excited anticipation of the numerous and magnificent blessings the Lord has in store for you.

Don’t look behind you anymore. You do not have to carry your past into your future. It is dead and gone. Leave it buried. You are a new creation and you have a brand new start beginning today. Grab a hold of your newness. Embrace your own freshness. Let you be you perhaps for the first time in your life. Do not be what others made you to be, give free expression to the glorious creature God created in you. Don’t let age hinder you. Don’t let anything constrain you. You are God’s most glorious creation and He wants to see you soar on the winds the way he created you to. Past injuries? They are history. You are a new creature; born anew with no hurts or anxieties when you let the Lord, our God be your father; your dad. He is a great and wonderful parent who has re-birthed you. He has never and will never treat you in any way that would cause you injury or trauma. You are brand new today. Throw away all of the past and believe for your bright future. It is calling you. It is beckoning. Answer the call and Happy New Year!