Good evening, my dear friends! I am sorry I didn't get a chance to post on the weekend. We took a rather last minute trip to visit family so we could all be together on New Years. ;) It was indeed a blessing. I will be posting some pictures from that experience soon! ;)
But for now, I have something to think on for the New Year; 2012! In church, a gentleman preached a sermon while the pastor was away. And it really, really touched me. So much so, that I had to share it with y'all. I will give you the bits from the notes I took. ;)
Putting off the OLD and putting ON the New
You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
God wants perfection. PERFECTION. He is perfect; Jesus is perfect. But is it possible, for us as humans to even come close? Of course not.
God wants perfection in TWA; Thoughts, words and actions. He see's everything; the whole picture. Not just our actions, but our thoughts; our very deepest, darkest thoughts and desires. The whole picture; from the beginning to the end.
We are not perfect, but everyday we should be striving to be more like God. But that isn't easy. And many times we get off the path. And what do we want to do when we fall? BLAME someone. Anyone. Whoever happens to be around. Your parents? Many people blame their actions on their parents; even when those children are adults! Certain traits get passed down; obviously your looks; sometimes even your sense of humor! ;) But even more... and a lot of it comes after birth. You are always learning. And, you learn good as well as bad. Our parents aren't perfect; not even them! But we have to be responsible for our own actions. We cannot blame our parents for the choices we make. Who else could we blame? Your friends? The pastor? But we must have a reason. And we most often end up blaming God. "God didn't do this! He didn't answer this. Why NOT?"
Do not judge, or you too will be judged.
Another thing we do is judge; judge others. We see another Christian struggling and we think "Oh my! I would never do anything like that!" If we judge others for every little thing, others will judge us. But if Christ judged us, and punished us according to our sin, what would be our punishment? According to the bible (Romans 3:23- For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.) we have all sinned terrible! We have offended the Lord and gone against his laws and commandments. Nothing we can do can excuse our wrong actions. We CAN'T blame on others. We all DESERVE DEATH for our wrong actions. But Christ was perfect... He never sinned. And He died on the cross in your place; in my place! that we might have everlasting life with Him in heaven. Praise the Lord!!! His love is amazing...
How are we to get this new life? We are to put off the old 'man', through Christ. Put off; cast away; throw out; to get on/back on God's path.
Let the wicked forsake his way and the evil man his thoughts. Let him turn to the LORD, and he will have mercy on him, and to our God, for he will freely pardon.
Put off the old! And put on the new. A truly changed heart comes from the inside out; not the outside in. And when we 'put off' the 'old man' it is not what we do, but why we do it that is so important. But even something like putting off the old, and putting on the new; as simple as it may seem! we cannot do it ourselves. Even in that we must trust and rely on the Lord to change our sinful nature.
PUT OFF THE OLD!
2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold all things have become new!
My prayer this new year, is that the Lord will help me to put off the old man; put him off and LEAVE him off! and put Christ on. To die to self, that Christ might live in me.
One of my favorite verses has always been Romans 12:2.
Be not conformed to the ways of this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is good, acceptable, and the perfect will of God.
We cannot fix ourselves. Only God can fix us! Once you put off the old, you must put on the new! The new is just as important as putting of your sin. For without the armor, we will very soon go back into our old habits.
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.
So, my friends, let me encourage you to put off the old man, and put on the new, in Christ! Put on the armor of God, so whatever comes in this uncertain world, we will stand firm in the Lord!!
That really touched, blessed, convicted and challenged me. I hope it blessed you as well!
So, in this New Year, this is one of my biggest resolutions.
What are one/some of your New Years goals?
Be blessed, my friends as you go through the first days of 2012! :)