20-24 But that’s no life for you. You learned Christ! My assumption is that you have paid careful attention to him, been well instructed in the truth precisely as we have it in Jesus. Since, then, we do not have the excuse of ignorance, 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. (the Message version biblegateway.com)
Yes I understand many of you may not really like the Message version. I do because it gives me another picture in my head of what the Bible is saying. Sometimes I just need a little bit of a different language to mull over just what exactly is going on here.
Have you ever took the words in the Bible an acted them out in current language?? If you haven’t, try it sometime. It’s a fun way to get a better understanding of what is actually being said.
Here is the same thing in the Amplified version:
20 But you did not so learn Christ! 21 Assuming that you have really heard Him and been taught by Him, as [all] Truth is in Jesus [embodied and personified in Him], 22 Strip yourselves of your former nature [put off and discard your old unrenewed self] which characterized your previous manner of life and becomes corrupt through lusts and desires that spring from delusion; 23 And be constantly renewed in the spirit of your mind [having a fresh mental and spiritual attitude], 24 And put on the new nature (the regenerate self) created in God’s image, [Godlike] in true righteousness and holiness.
Am I perfect? No.
Am I looking to be more like Him? Yes. Absolutely.
Do I still do things wrong? Yep.
But God forgives us when we realize we screwed up and confess it to Him. We are constantly being renewed in our minds when we are reading our Bible and staying in contact with Him and confessing our sins to Him.
God is faithful. He Loves us. He wants the best for us..
It is a process. Learning Truth. Learning His ways.
I am no longer that person I wrote about yesterday. Yes, I still make mistakes. Yes, we still go through stuff. He is not the same person he was back then. God makes all things new. Its taken some time, but nothing worth doing happens quickly.
This is what happened, over time we chose to: ” 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 accurate reproduces his character in you”.
It was a choice we made to follow God and allow Him to change us from the inside. I am still a work in progress. I still have a lot to learn. But God is continually working in me to help me be all that I can be.
God is good. We can choose to follow Him and choose to let go of those things that keep us stuck. Continually, it is a choice to do things in a new way, to make a better choice to not continue in the old ways. Make the choice to do as the “Message” version says; “Throw out the old ways, they are rotten through and through”.
Are you entangled and stuck in a negative pattern of behavior? Is what you are doing helping you?? Then throw it out! Do something different, try a new thing. Put your foot down and stop the negative cycle. It may be ugly and hard for a time, but sometimes its the hard things that make us grow the most. (In fact, its really what causes the most growth in us!)
What is God working in you right now?? Is there an area of your life you are being challenged to change in?? What is God directing you towards??