Renewal


renewalOver the past weekend, my family and I along with some friends watched the Superbowl. I’m not much of a football fan but anytime I can get together with friends for food and fun (whatever the cause) scores a touchdown in my book.

Football can be fun and entertaining to watch, but during the Superbowl alot of hype goes to the commercials and half time show as well. Now in the past, I’ve really been quite appalled by some of the stuff that has gone down during these so-called times of “entertainment” that is so highly viewed by the masses. Most of the time it’s because I’m troubled by what Hollywood tries to push-off on our society as acceptable social norms. Since this was a family viewing event at our house, I’m thankful that this years half time show was at least decent and somewhat entertaining. I wish I could have said the same for some of the commercials. 

We who are believers in Christ are to be in the world, but not of it. The question is, “How do we do that in a world that blatantly shoves stuff in our face that is directly opposed to our core beliefs and values?  First of all we definitely have a choice of what we expose our hearts and minds to. But the second part of that is we have a choice of what we do with it. Romans 12:2 says . . . Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

When we spend time with God and let His Word wash and renew our minds it slowly begins to transform us. We become alive in Christ because we begin to walk in the understanding of who God truly is and what He wants from us. The bible states that the mind that is governed by the flesh (the ways of the world) is death, but the mind governed by the spirit brings life and peace (Romans 8:6). Whatever we allow to dominate our thoughts and minds will become the driving force of our lives.

Being committed to Christ and walking in His ways should not make us self-righteous prudes.  This is what happens when we know the Word but do not let it transform the way we live. Colossians 3 tells us to put to death the things of our earthly nature and instead to put on the new self that is being renewed in the knowledge and image of its creator.  This requires action on our part of putting away our old self-centered, self-serving ways and then exchange them for God’s ways.

Our knowledge of Christ and love for God should compel and move us to action and help us to see things the way that God sees them. The Spirit of Christ living and working in our hearts and lives should motivate us to love others with Christ’s pure love and should give us a compassion for the broken and hurting all around us. 

Some years ago my husband and I purchased a dining room table. Unfortunately after a few short years the finish had completely worn off the table. It was beginning to look pretty worn and marred from endless usage by our young family of six. One day my husband decided to sand and strip the table and then to refinish it. When it was completely done, I could hardly believe it was the same table. Actually, he had put a much better finish on the table that what it had originally come with, and today many years later the finish on the table is still relatively gorgeous.

This scenario reminds me of what God does with our lives when we come surrendered to Him.  He begins HIS work of restoration in our hearts and minds.  It’s a process of stripping off the old and then putting on the new. This happens in our daily walk with him as we renew our minds with the Word of God and walk in obedience to him. God takes the blemishes, marks and scars of our lives and is reworking them to give us a glorious new finish.

 

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