Sunday January 15, 2017 NEW

Put away the old self of your former way of life, corrupted through deceitful desires, and be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and put on the new self, created in God’s way in righteousness and holiness of truth.  Ephesians 4:22-24

New can be hard… it requires CHANGE!  No matter what age or personality, making dramatic changes can be hard.  Jesus came to a rural community of fishermen and said “Follow ME” and these men left their family and their trade to walk alongside this itinerant preacher.  Even in the best of circumstances this would be hard but Jesus told them it would NOT be the best of circumstances.  He shared that He had no place to stay, that they would be persecuted because of Him and would likely die.  That is not a recommendation that would draw a big following.

When I was young and we moved from St Louis to Springfield, IL.  I remember confronting my mother about CHANGE!  I told her in no uncertain terms that I did NOT like change.  I did not like living so far from Grandma and I missed our house.  She sat me down and asked me to make a list of the things that were still the same.  I did… it went something like this:

  1. I was with my brother and sister
  2. My birthday was still on the same day
  3. I had my doll
  4. We still went to church and it was the same.  (back then it was in Latin so I could not see any difference at all.)
  5. I still got to jump rope and play pick up sticks.

Mom added a few more items to the list and we made a game of looking for new things that we both liked about our new home.  I don’t think she was very happy about the move either so this game may have helped her as much as it did me.  Before long we moved back to St Louis but funny thing, it was a NEW house, a different neighborhood and we added another baby brother to the mix.  I never forgot how important it is to realize that even in change there are constants: Love, Family, God and all the truly important things don’t go away no matter my surroundings.

Paul invites the Corinthians to put on the NEW.  To become changed creatures of Christ.  It is the hardest thing in the world to change.  Paul knew this so he explained the eternal benefits were better than the hardships that his followers would face.  His encouragement continues to make the prize worth the effort!

Lord, help me to put on the NEW creation and embrace the changes that are required to make me Your creation.  Help me to shake off the old corrupted ways and put on the NEW self which You are calling me to be.  It is not easy for me so I ask You to teach me!      

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