December 14, 2011
The gift a new self, in the likeness of God
This Advent Daily Devotional is focusing on the gifts God gives us, as uncovered in the book of Ephesians.
Today’s gift from God is a three-part gift. Ephesians, chapter 4, verse 24: It is the gift of a new self. “… and put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.”
Putting on the new self. It can’t really happen until you, Part 1, take off the old self and then, Part 2, renew your mind, for Part 3, putting on the new self.
Are you a collector? Do you have things around the house that really have no value at all? I confess, I’m one of those people. I used to collect all sorts of things. Baseball cards. 45 records. Pop Bottles. License plates. Old newspapers with great headlines. I’m sure when I decided to keep these things there was a reason… but, today… I don’t know why, really. They just take up valuable storage space.
We all have some old junk in our lives… and throughout this chapter Paul takes the reader through a long list of old junk we need get rid of if we are to live the full life that God has for us: impure sensuality, greed, stealing, unwholesome talk, bitterness, wrath, anger, slander. Get rid of it. Renew your mind.
“Put on the new self in the likeness of God, created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.” (Ephesians 4:24)
That is a tremendous gift! Once we say “yes” to being a Christ-follower, we get to get rid of the junk and live a life in the likeness of God! In your old self you might have had the label “adulterer,” “thief,” “loser,” “addict,” … but guess what? That’s not you any more! What a beautiful gift! Like putting on a new, gorgeous dress or an Armani suit.
I visited my mom a few years ago while I was on a business trip. I was on my way to a meeting, but I first took some time to drive with my mom to one of her weekly Bible studies to visit some old friends. One dear woman, when seeing me for the first time in probably 20 years, saw me all dressed up in an Italian suit and ready to tackle the business of the day exclaimed: “You look like a million bucks!” Isn’t it great to look like a million bucks? But let me tell you, when you are a new creation in Christ… your value to our Lord is “priceless.”
I think that one of reasons we collect stuff is because we hope that someday it will be worth something. We can sell it on Craig’s List or on eBay. And we think, if this thing is worth something and I own this thing, then I am worth something.
May I tell you something? Once you put off the old and put on the new self, in the likeness of Christ, you are the wealthiest you will ever be! Your Father owns the cattle on a thousand hills. You have been given every spiritual blessing… you can’t get any wealthier!
Here’s how The Message summarizes this gift:
“Everything—and I do mean everything—connected with that old way of life has to go. It’s rotten through and through. Get rid of it! And then take on an entirely new way of life—a God-fashioned life, a life renewed from the inside and working itself into your conduct as God accurately reproduces his character in you.” (Ephesians 4:24, the Message)
God wants to reproduce His character in you! And it’s beautiful when you let him do it! It’s a beautiful, priceless gift!
Get dressed up for today’s gift, the gift of putting on a new self, in the image of God.
Father God, thank you that I am priceless in your sight. Thank you for the new gift of a new self, created in your image. Let me receive this gift every single day, even today! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
© 2011. Rich Ronald