New and Improved
Have you ever been shopping in the grocery store and noticed a favorite item claiming to be “new and improved”? Excited by the possibility of a better, healthier, tastier experience, you look at the package information and realize the only things that have changed are the outside of the package and the elevated price of the item. The contents remain exactly the same. What a disappointing scenario!
The Good News is that this is not the way God wants to work in our lives. He is in the renovation business and his plan is to transform us from the inside out. He is not interested in merely sprucing up our external appearance while leaving our hearts and minds unchanged. His desire is for all people to be reconciled to him and to be renewed through his son, Jesus.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” 2 Corinthians 5:17
“… be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.” Ephesians 4:23-24
An Internal Makeover
This transformation process begins with our willingness to submit to Jesus as the one who is able to accomplish this internal makeover through his Spirit.
“And we all … are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.” 2 Corinthians 3:18
As we follow Jesus, learning to think, talk and act more like him each day, real changes will begin to manifest themselves in our lives. Our everyday actions and choices will reflect this inner process of transformation, and doing things God’s way becomes a natural outcome in our lives. Our very bodies are tools that God can use to fulfill his purposes, which in turn allows us to fulfill our purpose, as God always intended.
“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:1-2
Change is Good
Being transformed can be uncomfortable, a bit scary, and is undoubtedly a challenging process that happens over time, not in a moment. However, when you are willing to allow the wisdom of God to be your guide, the rewards are more than worth the effort and commitment it takes to let go of human notions and allow Jesus to mold you into the “new and improved” you.
“… put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator…Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience…And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.” Colossians 3:10, 12, 14
We invite you to come and see Jesus and consider the possibility of a “new” you in this new year!