Theme of the Week: All Things New: A New You
Bible Verse: “In him you are also being built together for God’s dwelling in the Spirit.” Ephesians 2:22, CSB
Scripture Reading: Mark 8:34-37
Why would you like to change? Think about it for a moment. Why do you want to be more like Jesus? Why do you want to keep a lid on your temper or overcome lust or stop living in a fantasy world? Why do you want to feel less depressed or bitter or frustrated? Why do you want to be a better parent, a better husband, a better wife, a better employee? Here are four answers you may have given.
- Growing in holiness is not sad, dutiful drudgery. It’s about joy. It’s discovering true joy—the joy of knowing and serving God. There is self-denial, sometimes hard and painful, but true self-denial leads to gaining your life (Mark 8:34–37).
- Change is about living in freedom. We refuse to go back to the chains and filth of our sin. We live in the wonderful freedom that God has given us. We’re free to be the people we should be.
- Change is about discovering the delight of knowing and serving God. Our job is to stop wallowing around in the dirt and instead to enjoy knowing God, to give up our cheap imitations and enjoy the real thing.
- Becoming like Jesus is something that God gives to us. It’s not an achievement that we offer to him. It’s enjoying the new identity he has given us in Christ. It begins with his work for us. He has set us free from sin and offers us a relationship with himself. It’s as if there are two feasts: the feast of God and the feast of sin. We’re invited to both. God invites us to find satisfaction in him. Sin entices us, with its lies, to look for satisfaction in sin. So we’re double-booked. All the time, we have to choose which feast to attend.
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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