10 January 2008

Thoughts on being a new creation.

So yesterday was bad for me. I went to bed asking God for a 'do-over.' Not that I wanted to repeat yesterday until I got it right- why on earth do people see the whole reincarnation thing as a positive experience? No, what I wanted was a changed heart and attitude. I didn't want to repeat yesterday by carrying in the same ungrateful heart and making the same unwise comments and causing grief for people I care about. What I was asking for was a clean slate. If you squeeze a sponge and dirty water comes out, it's not the pressure that makes the water dirty...the dirt was there to begin with-one of the things I was taught as a nouthetic counselor.

After spending time with God I put yesterday behind me and fell asleep, hoping for a new day and a new start. A friend from church has had surgery today and when I asked her how I could help, she asked me to check in on her mom. I went to bed knowing I had a mission and was grateful for it. Normally I wake up about 7:00am by the latest. Today I woke up at 11:30 feeling like I had been hit by a truck. On top of that, I as running a fever and had a sore throat. My first thoughts? "Oh no... I am late for checking on Miss Helen.... OH NO... I can't go check on her while I have a fever and sore throat! " Next came the grumbling "some clean slate this is..blah blah yadda yadda blah blah." I called someone to take my place checking on Miss Helen and then, after whining a bit longer, began to be thankful that there was someone I could call.

Why is it that I never think first as a new creation? Why do I always let my flesh think first? I always seem to chase myself around in circles. God made us creatures of habit and when our habits are good that works for us. When our habits are bad, it works against us. Is it simply a habit that I have to go to the negative? Is it a pattern of sin? Is there ever going to be a time in my life that my first thoughts are of who I am in Christ and let that sweet knowledge flavor my response and reactions?

I want to say that it all boils down to disciplining myself and my thought life- but then I have worry about falling into legalism. If I think I can discipline myself, I am trying to live a works based gospel and sanctify myself. If I ignore the tendency to respond sinfully I am presuming on His grace. Being a new creation doesn't fix everything at once. It doesn't mean that I get a do-over by which all circumstances will now come to me favorably. It doesn't make my sanctification easy, it just insures it.

Life is a matter of balance. The world tries to balance on faulty foundations, foundations that crumble and leave them in peril. For the Christian, Christ and his gospel are the fulcrum upon which we must balance.

2 Corinthians 5:17
17 Therefore if any man is in Christ, {he is} a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.

Psalm 51:10
10 Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.

John 3:3
3 Jesus answered and said to him, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God."

Ephesians 2:10
10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
(NAS)

Colossians 3:1-10
1 If then you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.
2 Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.
3 For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.
4 When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.
5 Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry.
6 For it is on account of these things that the wrath of God will come,
7 and in them you also once walked, when you were living in them.
8 But now you also, put them all aside: anger, wrath, malice, slander, {and} abusive speech from your mouth.
9 Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its {evil} practices,
10 and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him
(NAS)



uh oh, fever's back... more later

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