2 Corinthians 5:17 This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!
The beauty in becoming a true Christian is the change that comes with it. God, in His love, actually changes us when we become Christians. As His Holy Spirit dwells within us, we have the luxury of not only seeing our lives and purpose in a different way, but pretty much everything around us. We become a new person. What do I mean? Well, let’s look.
- Our thoughts change when we become Christians. Ephesians 4:23, Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. As a Christian, I don’t entertain the thoughts I used to. I recognize their wrongness and have to make the decision to refuse to dwell on such things.
- My life is no longer about me being the center of attention. My decisions are no longer about how only I am affected by them, but how others are. Philippians 4: 3, Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves.
- Desires change as we become new people. The things of earthly value begin to diminish in appeal as you grow in your relationship with God. And obtaining the newest thing or things in general just doesn’t seem to matter anymore. 1 John 2:17, And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever.
- Your purpose in life takes a turn. You begin to realize how much you matter and how much serving your purpose matters for God’s Kingdom. 1 Timothy 6:12, Fight the good fight for the true faith. Hold tightly to the eternal life to which God has called you, which you have declared so well before many witnesses.
- Lastly, your view of sin changes. You practically ache from the reality of the distance that sin has placed between you and God. You can’t help but thank God for the opportunity to repent for the sins committed. Ezekiel 36:31, Then you will remember your past sins and despise yourselves for all the detestable things you did.
And while there is much more that takes place as we become new persons, these are just a few of the things that have taken place in my life. Won’t you accept Christ today to experience all this and then some?
Today is the day of salvation.
2 Corinthians 6:2 For God says, “At just the right time, I heard you. On the day of salvation, I helped you.” Indeed, the “right time” is now. Today is the day of salvation.
Matthew 7: 3-5 (NLT)
And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own? How can you think of saying to your friend, ‘Let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,’ when you can’t see past the log in your own eye? Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye.
Christianity is not a spectator’s sport. It’s almost like we treat it as a way to justify watching and pointing at people and their sins.
Now, I’m not saying we should have a blind eye to sin. As Christians, we are to speak the truth in love and recognize sin for what it is, sin. The issue lies in my blind eye to my own sin. If I’m so busy telling you what you do wrong, it doesn’t leave much time for me to see my own faults.
In doing so, I’ve lessened my sins and focused on yours. Instead of seeing you as a brother/sister in need of truth and love, I’ve turned you into a spectacle.
The more I maximize your speck, the more likely I am to increase my log. So, what would cause all of this? Pride. And I believe we don’t need any more people who sit around and pridefully watch wrongs. And we certainly don’t need any more that refuse to see their own wrongs.
In essence, pride see what you’ve done as worse than what I’ve done. It seeks to compare and to judge. Pride is the very log that sees the speck as being the problem.
In fact, pride refuses to realize that it’s easier to remove a speck than it is to remove a log. Pride is the spectator that makes a spectacle of your sin.
It’s easy to be a hypocritical Christian. The comparison game is human nature, so naturally we can start to think well at least I don’t do that…
I’ve been a Christian since I was young, but I don’t believe I took Christianity seriously all my life. I knew the things I shouldn’t do, but I never had a heart of obedience quite as big as my heart of guilt. If I felt guilty enough, I wanted that to convince me not to sin. It wasn’t a matter of loving God enough to stop, or at least it wasn’t until I was older.
I say all that to say Christians should be more careful. I was a good kid, and I was a Christian in my younger days, but I don’t know that I was a Christ follower in the areas I most needed to be one in, in those areas where I had so much influence.
See, I didn’t get drunk, but I did drink too much. I didn’t have sex, but I might have gone a little too far. I didn’t exactly lie, but I didn’t tell the whole truth either. In my mind, I wasn’t perfect, but I certainly wasn’t as bad as “her” or “him.”
However, the bottom line still remains that I was and am not as good as Christ. Which means that I am imperfect and flawed. I sin. The comparison of my sin to others was bad. But the hypocrisy of my Christianity was just plain sad.
James 2:10 For the person who keeps all of the laws except one is as guilty as a person who has broken all of God’s laws.
Matthew 7:1-3 “Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. For you will be treated as you treat other. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged.
“And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own?”
I don’t think we can overemphasize the love of God. He really loves us. I can’t fully explain it, but He does. He doesn’t have to. He could just make us be whatever He wants us to be and feel however He wants to about it. But in His infinite wisdom and love He created choice. He created the choice to love us and the choice for us to love Him in return.
Think about it. God is perfect. And that’s the best we can do to describe Him because He is so much more than just that. And He deals with us. He created us. He uses us to create things. And we’re not perfect.
We don’t acknowledge God very often. Some people never will. But He still loves us. He still chooses to use us. Isn’t that love?
AND, He sent His Son to die for us. He saw our sin and imperfection and how empty Heaven would be without us there and decided He didn’t want that. So He sent His Son to die for our sins, past, present, and future.
His sent His Son from Heaven to earth. Perfection to imperfection. Purity to impurity. And why?
Because through His Son He would be able to further relate to us. And to a God that is Love, it’s more important for Him to be able to relate than dictate.
Romans 1:25 They traded the truth about God for a lie. So they worshiped and served the things God created instead of the Creator himself, who is worthy of eternal praise! Amen.
The last part of this verse stands out to me. It’s like Paul said, excuse me for a minute, I need a praise break.
Stay mindful. He’s talking about the foolishness of sin. He’s giving us a report on all the wrongs of idol worship and sexual immorality and really, he’s telling us about the filthiness of sin. And right in the middle of it all, he gives God a shout out, saying, God created everything and is worthy of eternal praise! Eternal praise is everlasting adoration. And God deserves it all!
It’s almost like the more he talked about sin, the more God became worthy of praise. The more disgusting the thought of sin became, the more pure God became. The more he talked about the unfaithfulness of man, the more obvious it became that God was faithful.
That’s how it should be with us. We shouldn’t feel like it’s necessary for God to do something in our favor in order for us to praise and worship Him. We should take a praise break simply because of who God is, and the fact that He is nothing like us! Hallelujah!
Can we change these commercials to praise break?
The Pharisees were pretty lowdown. Let’s face it. As we read through the Bible, we pretty much get the feel that they were ridiculous. They were supposed to be upstanding citizens, yet they made it harder for everyone else. They were supposed to know the Scriptures, but didn’t recognize the Scriptures in human form. And they were supposed to be looking forward to the promised Messiah, but instead challenged Him.
At every turn they worked against Jesus, who was supposed to be the very being they were living for. And what’s crazy is that they did even worse things than what they accused Him of.
Mark 3:1-6 (NLT)
Jesus went into the synagogue again and noticed a man with a deformed hand. Since it was the Sabbath, Jesus’ enemies watched him closely. If he healed the man’s hand, they planned to accuse him of working on the Sabbath.
Jesus said to the man with the deformed hand, “Come and stand in front of everyone.” Then he turned to his critics and asked, “Does the law permit good deeds on the Sabbath, or is it a day for doing evil? Is this a day to save life or to destroy it?” But they wouldn’t answer him.
He looked around at them angrily and was deeply saddened by their hard hearts. Then he said to the man, “Hold out your hand.” So the man held out his hand, and it was restored! At once the Pharisees went away and met with the supporters of Herod to plot how to kill Jesus.
It wasn’t OK for Jesus to heal on the Sabbath, but it was OK for them to plot to kill on the Sabbath? It wasn’t OK for Jesus to give life, but it was OK for them to take it? Somewhere in their minds, this made sense.
And still today, somewhere in our minds it still makes sense. We may not plot to kill, but we do plan on getting drunk this weekend (Ephesians 5:18). We may not work on the Sabbath, but we do plan on sleeping with our boyfriend (1 Corinthians 6:18). We may tithe our 10%, but we certainly won’t give to the poor (Proverbs 28:27). Better yet, we may respect God, but we wont respect the government He has put in place (Romans 13:1).
We may not plot to kill Jesus, but we may plan to kill our own testimony.