Of With The Old And On With The New

Romans 12:2 (BSB) “Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.”

Why doesn’t God want us conformed to the world and its ways, how come I can’t act and talk just like my unsaved friends and family? One reason is that we aren’t of the world, we don’t really belong to it anymore. We were bought by Jesus’ blood and what a precious price He paid for us. We are born again from Heaven, we should be different. Also, when we don’t allow the Word to transform, renew, clean up our minds, then we can’t rightly discern God’s will. Since His will is good, pleasing, and perfect wouldn’t we want to know what that is for our lives.

Ephesians 4:23-23 (ESV), “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.”

God made us brand new when we accepted His love and surrendered all our junk to Him and His forgiveness so why then does He tell me to “put off” and “put on”, because we live in a corrupt place. It tends to rub off on us. Our minds get dirty, our hearts get hard, and our vision gets cloudy. It all has to be washed away again. Just like our clothes get dirty when we work in the yard, we have to come in and take off the soiled and put on the clean, so it is with our hearts and minds.

If we didn’t change those clothes and maybe even take a shower, after a couple of days we’d stink. After a few more so would out houses and our cars. Before too long people wouldn’t want to be around us and we would withdraw into our own smelly world and refuse to come out. Who wants to live that way? I sure don’t. I want others to want to be around me. I want to be a pleasing aroma to God and to man. I want a clean heart, a clean mind, and clean hands. However, it’s not in my power to stay clean. It takes the Holy Spirit and a lot of the “washing of the word” to keep me that way. It takes being humble and admitting everything doesn’t smell like roses, admitting we let the mess get too big for us and we need some divine intervention.

His way is better!

I say off with the old and on with the new!

I John 3:1-3 (NIV), See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. All who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure.”


Don’t Be A Victim


Some people have a victim mentality.

They are always being attacked, provoked, short-changed, overlooked, underappreciated, ridiculed, and the list goes on, and the world owes them something. Sometimes all they want is an excuse, a reason for their less-than-perfect lives, or why they can’t hold down a job, why they drink too much, eat too much, abuse drugs and other people, why they are lazy, or sick, or broke. Other times they want compensation for what they consider their they were robbed or cheated of, and even more astounding, they want someone to support them, to take care of them, and to be a leach off of the hard work, or spiritual maturity of others.

I know some of those people. I am still frequently amazed when I find out exactly what they are supposed to be a victim of. I am often reminded of something our Senior Pastor jokes about when he mentions people like that. He says, “My mama put me on a cold potty when I was two and I never got over that.” We all laugh, partly because it can be pretty accurate.

These were the reasoning I have heard: Their ancestors were slaves…their parents didn’t want them, love them, or were abusive…they had an alcoholic parent…they were bullied in the sixth grade…their husband, or wife, left them…and on it goes.

I am not belittling any of those things. I have experienced most of those. However, we don’t camp out in those awful experiences. We certainly don’t live there. So many times I have wanted to give this sound and loving advice to those who are stuck, “Get over it!” I have given a softer, nicer, more politically correct version of this.

Our prisons, our welfare system, and our schools are full of “victims.” It’s a shame. God’s chosen people were taken out of slavery in Egypt and they were led by God, personally, to a land flowing with milk and honey. Yet, they couldn’t shake that slavery mentality. They saw themselves as victims of Moses, who they accused of trying to kill them, and of God, who they said had led them out just to let them starve and die in the wilderness. Do, a trip that should have taken days, took forty years! That’s what a victim mentality will do, rob you of your inheritance and delay the promises. Aren’t God’s blessings, his provision, better than a “free ride,” better than any so-called entitlements?

God calls us His children, those of us who have accepted Jesus as Lord. He says that we are Kings and Priests. We are chosen, blessed, redeemed, saved, delivered, Holy, righteous, loved, and accepted (and those are just a few things He says about us.) How can we ever perceive ourselves as being a victim? “But, Satan keeps attacking me,” you say. Sure he does, that’s his job, it is who he is. Satan wants to keep you a victim. Don’t listen to him, or any other voice that tells you that junk, whether it is a family member, a teacher, a friend, or even the President of the United States, listen to God. His job, who He is, is love. He is our Father. He’ll protect those that are His like a mama bear protects her cubs. He is a Mighty Warrior King!

I know people who have gone through some stuff, but they chose to live as His children, and they are productive, generous, loving, and unselfish people. They give, they don’t expect to receive. Some of those people have been raped, sexually assaulted, abused, were raised by parents who were addicted to drugs, alcohol, or food, they have made bad choices, messed up their lives, but they have moved on. Others, life has dealt them some blows, sickness, broken bones, broken hearts, and broken marriages. Yet, they choose to persevere, to fight the fight of faith, to trust God.

My husband is one who refuses to be a victim. The day after school got out his junior year (way back in 1973) he was out drinking with some buddies on some logging roads in Washington State. Those roads are steep, gravel or dirt, have mountain on one side and a drastic drop off on the other, and worst of all they corkscrew up the mountain. Their bad choices resulted in a horrible car accident where my husband broke his back in seven places. He shattered vertebrae and is still missing two. He spent three months in the hospital and six months in a body cast. That was the end of high school wrestling. The doctors told him he would never walk again and his limitations if he did were numerous. God had preserved his life, even at a time when Eddie was not serving the Lord. Now, so many years later, he is now fifty-eight, he still works hard. He refused social security disability all of those years ago, preferring to work and support himself and his family. He still has pain but works, every day, sometimes even sixty hour weeks in a factory. When I met him, he had already been married and divorced twice. He could have played the victim, and lived a life lonely and bitter. We have been married for thirty years this summer. He has never seen himself as a victim.

Another man I know was raised by an abusive mother, had little affection, hardly any money growing up, and lived out in the middle of nowhere. He later made some poor choices and ended up a drug addict. Did he camp out there? Is he a victim? No, he happens to be that Senior Pastor I mentioned. He has traveled the world and had preached to thousand at a time. He has decided to put his trust in God and has let his past be a stepping stone, not a stumbling block. He chose to forgive and love his parents and got to personally lead them to the Lord before they died. He ministers as a covering over dozens of churches and ministries all over the world. He refuses to be a victim, so He is used by God in a big way.

There are many other stories to tell. I am sure you know some of each mentality, two ways of thinking, victims and fighters. Victims lose, fighters win. Adding God into the equation makes our victory sure!

So, what will it be?

Victim or Victor?

II Corinthians 2:14 (KJB), “Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place.”

If you chose victor, then get in the word and find out what God has to say about who you are! If you are not sure where to start, google it. Modern technology can be used for good. Get off all those social network, log off that game, and go to one of these great sites. You can search just about any topic and find out the truth.

God, how awesome is it that you have already won the victory through the shed blood of Christ. I accept what You have already done. I am not fighting for a victory, but from Your Victory!