THE GIFT OF A NEW SELF IN THE LIKENESS OF GOD
Today’s gift from God is a three-part gift.
“… and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” (Ephesians 4:24, NIV).
Putting on the new self can’t happen until you, Part 1, take off the old self and then, Part 2, renew your mind, and Part 3, put on the new self.
Are you a collector? Do you have things around the house that have little value? I confess I’m one of those people. I used to collect all sorts of things. Baseball cards. Vintage 45 records. Pop bottles. License plates. The front pages of old newspapers with memorable headlines. I’m sure there was a reason why I decided to keep these things, but today I have to wonder why I kept them.
We all have some old junk in our lives. Throughout this chapter, Paul takes the reader through a long list of old junk we need to get rid of if we are to live the full life God has for us: impure sensuality, greed, stealing, unwholesome talk, bitterness, wrath, anger, slander. Get rid of it. Renew your mind.
That is a tremendous gift! Once we say “yes” to being a Christ-follower, we get rid of the junk and live a burden-free life in God’s likeness! In your old self, you might have had the label “adulterer,” “thief,” “loser,” or “addict.” But guess what? That’s not you anymore! What a beautiful gift! It’s like putting on a gorgeous new dress or a tailored suit.
I visited my mom a few years ago while on a business trip. I was on my way to a meeting dressed in an Italian suit and ready to tackle the day’s business, but I first took a detour to drive mom to one of her weekly Bible studies. When seeing me for the first time since I was a teenager, one dear woman exclaimed: “Wow! You look like a million bucks!” It’s great to put on our finest clothes from time to time, but let me tell you when you are a new creation in Christ, your value to our Lord is always “priceless.”
I think one of the reasons we collect stuff is because we hope that someday it will be worth something. We believe if this thing is worth something, and I own this thing, then I am worth something.
May I tell you something? Once you put off the old and put on the new self, in the likeness of Christ, you are the wealthiest you will ever be! Your Father owns the cattle on a thousand hills. You have been given every spiritual blessing. You can’t get any wealthier!
Here’s how The Message version summarizes this gift:
“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.” (Ephesians 4:24, MSG).
God wants to reproduce His character in you! And it’s beautiful when you let Him do it! It’s a beautiful, priceless gift!
Get dressed up for today’s gift — the gift of a new self in the likeness of God.
Father God, thank you that I am priceless in your sight. Thank you for the gift of a new self, created in your image. Help me receive this gift every single day, even today! In Jesus’ name. Amen.
This advent devotional can be found on the YouVersion Bible App here.