Thursday, January 17, 2019

Brand New Nature

Chuckle: "This lady said she recognized me from the vegetarian club, but I'd never met herbivore."
Quote: "Righteousness is one thing, self-righteousness is another. May God keep me from ever confusing them." --Lionel Blue

"In its (old nature's) place you have clothed yourselves with a brand-new nature that is continually being renewed as you learn more and more about Christ, who created this new nature within you" (Colossians 3:10 NLT).
Most of us don't have much difficulty with our conduct while we have our church face on, along with our Sunday clothes. It's those other six pesky days that give us the most trouble. When Paul says we are to be clothed with a new nature, he means that our conduct every day should match our professed faith. If we say we are Christians, we should act like it. Our conduct should always reflect our new nature. But, if you are like I am, my actions don't always measure up, in spite of my best intentions. My spiritual clothing sometimes becomes soiled and tattered.
Putting on the new nature is a straightforward action that is as simple as putting on clothing. However, Paul recognized that our new nature requires renewing every day we live. In the same way that we change into clean and fresh clothing each day, our new nature (clothing) must be cleaned and made fresh as we continually learn more about Christ with the intent to be like him.
God's answer to our failures is to extend to us the privilege of a brand new start each morning -- to avail ourselves of Christ's Spirit living within us and allow Him to teach us. Christians should be in a continuing, never ending spiritual education program. The more we learn about Christ and his work, the more like him we become. Christ-like humility will become more and more natural to us. "Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus" (Philippians 2:5 NIV).
Becoming like Christ is a life-long process and we will never be perfect as Christ is perfect. However, like Paul, we can say, "I don't mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection! But I keep on working toward that day when I will finally be all that Christ Jesus saved me for and wants me to be" (Philippians 3:12 NLT).
A brand new life every day really is possible if we determine to "grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen" (2 Peter 3:18 NIV).
Love, Jerry & Dotse


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