A new season.
This time of year is exciting as so many new things begin, but it is also an opportunity to reflect on the past and examine our lives to see whether there are any old ways of thinking or acting that need to be removed.
In Colossians 3:9-10, the Apostle Paul exhorts, "Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator." This was recently exemplified and applied in my life in a physical way when I received a new pair of slippers. As is clearly seen in the picture, I had needed a new pair for quite some time. Seeing the two pairs together, I was reminded how often we have an old pair of "slippers" that needs replacing. Once we have a new pair, the question becomes, "what am I going to do about the old pair?" I could have kept my old slippers in case I couldn't find or use my new ones, but did I really need to keep such a dilapidated object that clearly could not be beneficial any longer? Paul commands us to "put off the old self!" We must abandon sin and embrace God's truth.
"Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony." Colossians 3:12-14
"But that is not the way you learned Christ!-- assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness. Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another." Ephesians 4:20-25
I encourage you as we begin this month to seek and desire to put on Christ and what is pleasing to Him, growing in the knowledge of His will for your life.
"For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith--that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen." Ephesians 3:14-21
(All Scripture quoted from the English Standard Version)