Tag Archives: new life

Starting over

This means that anlightstock_1665_small_user_3963721yone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! -2 Cor. 5:17 (NLT)

What does it mean to start over? Every year, around this time, millions of people resolve to change certain aspects of their lives. Some succeed, many fail. Most resolutions fall short because there was no commitment to real life change. Goals without real resolve don’t produce movement or real transformation.

I’ve never been big on New Years resolutions. It’s always seemed to me that if I really wanted to change something about my life, I shouldn’t wait until a certain time of year to do it. The time is now! I get why people do it, though. The start of a new year on the calendar signifies a new beginning, a chance to start over. That’s a great time to make some choices towards a better life. There’s a much better chance to start over, though.

God’s Word says that when we place our trust in Jesus, He forgives us, cleanses us from our sins, adopts us into His family, and gives us a new identity. We get a chance to not only begin a new year, but begin a whole new life. The slate is not just wiped clean, the slate is gone completely. Our identity is not what it once was. Our identity is now in Christ. I’ll dig deeper into that idea as we go on. It’s important.

Starting over is a choice. I became a new person when I was saved, but only after I made a decision to embrace my new identity did I see revolutionary growth in my life. Maybe that’s you right now. Maybe you’re like me. You crossed the line of faith, and you’re forgiven, but you’re not seeing some of the expectations you had coming true for you. For me, that brought a lot of confusion and made me question my conversion. I hope that this one-year journey we’re going to take together puts to rest any doubts you have about your salvation.

Decide today to start over with the new life you’ve been given. Even if you’ve been saved for years, it’s not too late. Take the first step in the journey of discipleship and do as the disciples did when Jesus bid them, “Follow me.” This new life is from Him, for Him, and about Him. It’s a wild ride, and it’s all worth it.

Trade in your heart for a new one

Ephesians 4:17-19 Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds.They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity.

The new birth that comes with following Jesus brings with it a certain transformation. The Bible speaks in many places of the new life, the new self. We are made a new creation after salvation (2 Corinthians 5:17) and the old is made new. We have received a heart transplant as well:And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.” (Ezekiel 36:26)

It’s only because we’ve received a heart of flesh, one that’s moved toward God instead of being hardened to Him, that we are even capable of maturing and doing His will.  But why do we so often act as though we’re still a hard-hearted nonbeliever? Why do we act as if our lives haven’t been transformed, insisting on living out our old ways?

The Apostle Paul says that those without God act with hard hearts towards Him because they’re ignorant. They don’t know yet of His love and they don’t know Him intimately. But we do! We who have been called and adopted into His family as His very own children know that He is good and we know how to follow Him. So, we ought to do it. We ought to live like the new creations we are, who are being conformed into what God created us to be.

If you haven’t traded in your heart of stone for a heart of flesh, take the step. Do it now. If you have, act like the child of God that you are. Live according to His purpose for you. Give yourself to Him. It’s such a better life than the one you left behind.

Walk in new life

Philippians 3:10 “That I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death”

Our life in the flesh ended the moment we made Jesus the Lord and Savior of our lives, knowing that His death on a cross washed away our sins. Our life in the Spirit began the moment we started walking with Him in a new life, through the power of His resurrection. We share in Christ’s sufferings when we become His disciples, broken for a lost and dying world. We become like Him in death when we humble ourselves, investing our time and resources into lost people, encouraging and discipling the next generation.

The problem with most believers is they never get past being buried with Christ. They let their old selves die with Him on the cross, but never start their new walk with Him. They never truly know Christ, let alone take hold of the power of His resurrection. The gospel is not a one time miraculous event in our lives, but Jesus doing the miraculous through our lives as we walk with Him daily.

We are all going to fall down from time to time when we start following the path Jesus has called us to. What breaks my heart is when I see so many people who have never even taken their first step. If this feels like you, let me encourage you today to start walking because you can’t go with Jesus and stay where you are. Jesus wants to unleash the power of His resurrection in and through your life, but only as you draw close to Him, share in His sufferings, become like Him in death, and walk with Him in new life.

Baptize My Disciples

The Commands of Jesus Series

Matthew 28:19  Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.

You can easily see the importance of the first part of this well known verse, the command to go and make disciples, that is obviously important, but we may not consider the second part of this verse to be such a big deal. Why is it so important?

It is through baptism that we testify to the world that we know that we are in need of getting cleaned up, it says that we have found the only way to get rid of the stain that sin has left on our soul, with baptism we acknowledge the fact that we cannot wash ourselves of our sin and that we needed someone else to take away the eternal penalty of our sin.

Romans 6:4-5  For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives.  Since we have been united with Him in His death, we will also be raised to life as He was.

It is important to make it clear that baptism cannot make anyone right with God. It is only a testimony to the fact that I have already been cleansed and it tells my friends and neighbors that my life is now to be associated with my Savior who did the ultimate for me when I wasn’t even his friend.

It tells everybody that for now on I have a new way of living that for now on I will be striving to look like my savior, selfless, kind, patient and all of those other traits that we have been commanded to live by.

It is an oath by which we renounce the world and the flesh, as rivals with God for the throne in our hearts; and an oath of allegiance by which we resign and give up ourselves to God, to be his, our own selves, our whole selves, body, soul, and spirit, to be governed by his will.

Help me to always live for you Lord. I want to always keep fresh in my mind that you gave it all so that I could have it all. Thank you for loving me to the extreme before I was even your friend.