Tag Archives: new life

Your New Life

One of the questions I ask young adults is, “How do you personally define a successful life?” If they struggle with the answer, we fast forward until their 80 and look at their life. Then I ask, “If you had a successful life in your eyes, what would you see?” Many times I hear people say, “Lots of kids or grandkids,” or “A full bank account,” or “Lots of property.” If they know where they want to end up, they can start working towards getting there. Now let’s flip the question, “At the end of your life, how will Jesus know you lived a successful life?”

I don’t mean that question as a Jesus Juke. I want you to think about whether you’re living for yourself or for Him. Do your goals match up with the goals He has for you? 2 Corinthians 5:15 says, “He died for everyone so that those who receive his new life will no longer live for themselves. Instead, they will live for Christ, who died and was raised for them” (NLT). If at the end of your life, you attained your measure of success, but not His, you’ve failed. In Mark 8:36, Jesus said, “And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul?”

2 Corinthians 5 goes on to tell us that when we are in Christ, we receive a new life. With a new life comes new purpose. We no longer are to live for ourselves (old life). We are to now live for Christ (new life). This new life produces different fruit than the old one. The definition of success changes because your purpose changes. If you’re still working under your old definition of success in your new life, spend time asking God what His definition of success is for your life. It’s not too late to begin fulfilling your purpose in your new life.

Photo by Gene Chauvin on Instagram

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The Great Exchange


December 26th is the second busiest day for retail stores. It’s second only to Black Friday. This is the day after Christmas, and people flock to the stores to return or exchange the gifts they got the day before. Some people feel like returning and exchanging gifts is being ungrateful and rude. I’ve been in that camp, but if you think about it, wouldn’t you want them to have something they’d actually use? The old gift is going to sit there and be worthless unless they exchange it for something better and more suited for them.

We know that we celebrate the gift of the birth of Jesus at Christmas. Because He was born into our world, lived a sinless life, died on a cross for our sins, and rose to life again defeating death, hell, and the grave, you and I can exchange an eternity in Hell for one in Heaven.when we accept Him as our savior, we exchange our old life for a new one. That’s one of the great things about Christianity. You are not stuck with a life you don’t like or an eternity without God.

II Corinthians 5 is all about the exchanges we receive when we accept Christ. Verses 17 and 18 say, “This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ” (NLT). If you don’t like the life you’re living now, you have the ability to exchange it, and receive the life you were meant to live. You’re not stuck with it. Jesus came to give you a new life and a new way to live.

What’s more is, that same chapter tells us that one day, we will exchange these mortal bodies for spiritual bodies. We will not be stuck for eternity with the flaws and limitations our current body has. Paul said that to be present in this body is to be absent from the Lord, but one day we will take off this corruptible for the incorruptible. God’s desire is that you and I take advantage of the exchange policy He put in place with the birth of Jesus. It’s one exchange that we all need to make. 

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A Repurposed Life


One of the things I like about watching HGTV is to see how the repurpose and reuse previously discarded materials. Who knew you could take old, wooden Coca-Cola bottle boxes, screw them together, put legs under them, and put glass on top to create a cool display coffee table? I love how they find new uses for previously thrown out items or give new life to things that are worn out and are thought to be worthless. Their creativity is inspiring.

When I watch that, I can’t help but think, “That’s what God does with us!” He takes our lives that are broken, used up, out dated,and seemingly useless, and repurposes us. He gives us new life and makes us more beautiful than before. He sometimes find us in life’s scrap pile and thinks, “I can find new life and uses for this.” When everyone else sees someone worth discarding, God sees potential. This always gives me hope.

In Isaiah 41, God had strong words for Israel. They had fallen away and were scattered. They were a people who were broken and thought of as trash, but God doesn’t like to leave His children that way. In verse 9 He said, “I have called you back from the ends of the earth, saying, ‘You are my servant.’ For I have chosen you and will not throw you away” (NLT). When others, and often ourselves, don’t see anything of worth in your life and are willing to toss you out with yesterday’s garbage, God sees someone He values highly.

In verse 10, He goes on to say, “Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.” Not only does He see your life as valuable and worthy of repurposing, He’s going to give you strength, help, and victory for the transition. It’s not always easy being repurposed, but if we will let God have complete control over our lives, He will make something beautiful and useful.

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Spiritual Heart Transplant (Video)

 Your hearts and minds must be made completely new, and you must put on the new self, which is created in God’s likeness and reveals itself in the true life that is upright and holy.

Ephesians 4:23-24

If the video does not play, click here.

 

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The Smell Test

Guys are famous for wearing clothes that pass the smell test. To get dressed, they will grab clothes off the floor, or wherever else they’re laying, smell them and then wear them if they don’t stink too badly. The clothes can smell some, just not too much. When clothes get too stinky, they go in another pile. This cycle continues until they either buy new clothes or are forced to do laundry because they’re broke and out of clothes.

To some of you, this sounds sick. But to many guys, this is a way of life. Now imagine if a guy had a closet full of new clothes and started putting on the clothes from the floor that passed the stink test. It’s one thing to be out of clean clothes, but if you had clean clothes and you still put on your old ones, people would start to question you. This is the illustration Paul used in Colossians 3 for Christians who go back to their old way of life.

In verses 9-11, Paul was referring to how you lived before you became a Christian when he said, “It’s like a filthy set of ill-fitting clothes you’ve stripped off and put in the fire. Now you’re dressed in a new wardrobe. Every item of your new way of life is custom made by the Creator, with His label on it. All the old fashions are now obsolete. (MSG)” You’ve been given a new way of life since you accepted Christ and a new wardrobe. It doesn’t make sense to live like you used to.

We shouldn’t be sniffing around our old way of life to see if it doesn’t stink too badly when we’ve got tailor made clothes freshly made for us hanging in the closet. When we left that old life for the life Christ gives, we need to leave that wardrobe behind. Even if it doesn’t stink too badly, it’s still not the clothes that God made for us to wear. That wardrobe consists of compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength discipline, being even tempered, and quick to forgive according to verses 13-14. With these clothes on, we’ll look and live like disciples of Christ.   

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10 Scriptures On Life

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1. Those who try to gain their own life will lose it; but those who lose their life for my sake will gain it. (Matthew 10:39 GNB)

2. Wisdom will multiply your days and add years to your life. (Proverbs 9:11 NLT)

3. And this is that testimony (that evidence): God gave us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who possesses the Son has that life; he who does not possess the Son of God does not have that life. (1 John 5:11-12 AMP)

4. For God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not die but have eternal life. (John 3:16 GNB)

5. I am the Bread of Life [that gives life–the Living Bread]. (John 6:48 AMP)

6. Let us give thanks to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! Because of his great mercy he gave us new life by raising Jesus Christ from death. This fills us with a living hope, (1 Peter 1:3 GNB)

7. He died for everyone so that those who receive his new life will no longer live for themselves. Instead, they will live for Christ, who died and was raised for them. This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! (2 Corinthians 5:15, 17 NLT)

8. The thief comes only in order to steal, kill, and destroy. I have come in order that you might have life — life in all its fullness. (John 10:10 GNB)

9. Your old life is dead. Your new life, which is your real life—even though invisible to spectators—is with Christ in God. He is your life. When Christ (your real life, remember) shows up again on this earth, you’ll show up, too—the real you, the glorious you. Meanwhile, be content with obscurity, like Christ. (Colossians 3:3-4 MSG)

10. For you have been born again, but not to a life that will quickly end. Your new life will last forever because it comes from the eternal, living word of God. (1 Peter 1:23 NLT)

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10 Scriptures On Being Renewed

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1. Anyone who is joined to Christ is a new being; the old is gone, the new has come. (2 Corinthians 5:17 GNB)

2. And be constantly renewed in the spirit of your mind [having a fresh mental and spiritual attitude], (Ephesians 4:23 AMP)

3. Create in me a clean heart, O God; And renew a right spirit within me. (Psalm 51:10 ASV)

4. That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. (2 Corinthians 4:16 NLT)

5. But those who wait for the Lord [who expect, look for, and hope in Him] shall change and renew their strength and power; they shall lift their wings and mount up [close to God] as eagles [mount up to the sun]; they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint or become tired. (Isaiah 40:31 AMP)

6. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. (Romans 12:2 NLT)

7. Who satisfies your mouth [your necessity and desire at your personal age and situation] with good so that your youth, renewed, is like the eagle’s [strong, overcoming, soaring]! (Psalm 103:5 AMP)

8. Restore us, O LORD, and bring us back to you again! Give us back the joys we once had! (Lamentations 5:21 NLT)

9. And have clothed yourselves with the new [spiritual self], which is [ever in the process of being] renewed and remolded into [fuller and more perfect knowledge upon] knowledge after the image (the likeness) of Him Who created it. (Colossians 3:10 AMP)

10. I long to obey your commandments! Renew my life with your goodness. (Psalms 119:40 NLT)

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Transformations And Renovations

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I watch a lot of home improvement shows on the weekends. It seems my tuner is locked on HGTV when Saturday rolls around. I like watching how they transform spaces. Some require major work where they tear everything out and others are mainly painting and getting the right furniture in the right place. Before moving walls though, they always check to see if it is a load bearing wall. Some walls run perpendicular to the boards that hold up your roof and some run in the same line. If you take out the perpendicular ones (load bearing) that section of the roof can cave in.

When I think about my life, I’ve got a lot of walls up. I’ve got some in place to separate portions of my life from the other portions. I’ve got some up because I’ve been hurt and I don’t want that pain again. I’ve got some up where I hide all the junk I have in my life as well. Each of us have walls up in our lives whether we like to admit it or not. We build them to keep people and even God out of portions of our lives. We let them in certain rooms, but we don’t like yo let them into our junk closet.

Just like in a real house, some of those walls are load bearing and some are not. I’ve been thinking about what walls I’ve let God take down when He’s tried to do a remodel. I’ve given Him access to certain things and haven’t given Him permission to do others. I’ve let Him take out some of the non load bearing walls in my life. But like in a renovation, sometimes those walls have to come down in order to do what the master designer wants to do. The more permissions or access they grant the hosts on those TV shows, the greater the outcome of the renovation.

In my own life, I want the amazing transformation that renovation can bring. I want to be stunned when I open my eyes and see what God has done with my life. In order for that to happen, I’ve got to give Him permission to tear down my load bearing walls. I’ve got to give Him access to every part of my house. I can’t keep anything hidden from Him. Our walls really don’t keep God out of those areas of our life and He really doesn’t need our permission to do things in our lives. I’ve learned that it helps my attitude in the renovation when I give those things to Him. It prepares me for the changes that are coming.

What walls have you put up to keep others or God out? Have you only given Him permission to knock down the non load bearing walls? What kind of transformation or renovation would you like? The greater one you want, the greater permission you need to give to Him. Just like at the end of those shows where people drop to their knees in awe of what has been done to their house, God can make that kind of renovation with your life. He can move walls, take out the mold of sin, repurpose your past and create something beautiful out of your life if you let Him.

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Move That Bus

I used to love to watch “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition”. They always chose a family who were struggling and had been going through difficult times. They let the family tell their story in their own words. ABC would then send them to Disney for a well deserved vacation. While they were out, their house was demolished and a new one was built in its place. Once they returned from vacation, there was a bus parked in front of their house preventing them from seeing it. Ty Pennington would talk to them for a bit and then the family and the crowd would start to chant, “Move that bus!”

Once the bus rolled out of the way, the family was able to see their dream home. With grateful hearts and tears in their eyes, they often dropped to their knees in amazement. A house had been built just for them, with their needs in mind and the mortgage was taken care of. The struggles that they had been faced with were now smaller than before. The difficult situation they were in just got a shot of hope. Their future was bright once again.

After having several conversations this weekend regarding my post on Friday, this show came to my mind. There are so many of you who are struggling with faith, trusting God and wanting to know the purpose in the pain. There’s something like that bus that is preventing you from seeing the master plan that God has for you. It’s impossible to see around the circumstances that are filling your life. You know that God works all things together for your good, but you just want a glimpse of that good so you can have some hope in your current situation.

As a friend and I were discussing difficult times this weekend, the story of Joseph came up. God showed him the dream and then sent him down a path where he couldn’t see it anymore. You don’t read about him complaining though. What you do read is that God was with him. Finally, years after that dream, his brothers bowed before him in Egypt. I think it was one of those “move that bus” moments where everything became clear and he saw God had a plan the whole time.

Until that bus moves, there’s just anticipation of what’s on the other side. There’s doubt that the bus will ever move. There’s fear that it won’t. There’s concern that this may be the new normal for your life and that God will never reveal his master plan for your life. I understand those doubts and fears. I also know that the time comes when God moves that bus and He shows you fulfilled dreams that couldn’t have been fulfilled any other way than through pain, suffering and loss.

If you’re standing in that spot today where you can’t see the purpose in your situation, I’m standing with you. If you’re vision is blocked by the bus of circumstances, I’m praying God will give you hope that what He’s doing is for your good. If you’re chanting, “Move that bus”, I want to chant with you and to share in your joy as God reveals to you what He’s been doing. Your old life may have been demolished, but there is a better life just behind that bus waiting for you. It will be revealed at just the right time. Hang in there.

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