Theme of the Week: All Things New: A New You
Bible Verse: “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but one of power, love, and sound judgment.” 2 Timothy 1:7, CSB
Scripture Reading: John 7:37-39
Lee suffered from panic attacks. In time they became self-reinforcing. The fear of an attack would induce another one. He would phone me three or four times a week. Each time I would speak the truth to him. We developed some catchphrases: “God is greater than your thoughts.” “Not what if? but what is, and what is, is that God is in control.” The truth set him free. The truth of God’s sovereignty brought peace, and with it a new realization of the centrality of God and his glory. It wasn’t instantaneous. Each day brought a fresh struggle to believe. Another of our catchphrases was, “Yesterday was a victory, today is another battle.” But in time the panic attacks went away.
We find true freedom in embracing God’s reign over our lives and trusting his reign to be wise and good. This is the interpretation of life that brings joy and peace. But in the Garden of Eden the serpent persuaded Eve to doubt the goodness of God’s rule. Satan offered a different worldview, one that portrayed God as a tyrant whose rule should be rejected. Eve took the fruit because she believed this lie about God. Sin began with humanity disbelieving God’s word.
Sinful acts always have their origin in some form of unbelief. Behind every sin is a lie. The root of all our behavior and emotions is the heart—what it trusts and what it treasures.
Recognizing that behind every sin is a lie not only gives us a radical view of sin, it points us to the road out of sinful behavior and emotions. That road is trust in God.
Change takes place as we see the glory of God in Jesus, as we know the truth that sets us free. But seeing and knowing don’t properly capture the force of understanding we need. Seeing and knowing Christ isn’t just receiving information but means recognizing him as the one who is altogether lovely. It’s embracing the truth about God and delighting in it.
Taken from You Can Change: God’s Transforming Power for Our Sinful Behavior and Negative Emotions by Tim Chester, © 2010. Used by permission of Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187, crossway.org.
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