DAILY DISCIPLINE #37
By Colleen Donahue
"Behold, I make all things new!" Revelations 21:5
In 1981 I got my first brand new car. My old car had run well for almost 10 years. But it had become full of tiny rust spots, scratches, and dents. It also had been hit on the passenger side, totally eliminating the use of that door.
In contrast, my new car had no nicks, scratches, dents, or rust spots. There was no dirt on the floor mats or rips in the interior. It was NEW INSIDE AND OUT!
How often have we come to a New Year and wished we could trade in our old body, or personality for a new one? Perhaps we feel life's road has caused wear and tear so that we are full of dents, scratches, and rust spots! We don't want to be a patched up model. We wish we could be brand new!
Many of us don't fully realize that there is a way we can start over. There is a way that God has provided for us to be as though we were.......
Day 1- All of us, as part of mankind, start in the same boat together. We have inherited a sinful nature from our first spiritual parents (Adam & Eve). Therefore you and I are part of the "all" in this verse.
Day 2 -The apostle Paul sums up clearly the condition we find ourselves in.
Day 3- Mankind thus shares one common condition. What is it?
Day 4 -Now a man (apart from God) might think he is doing good things with his life, but what does God think of all those good things?
Day 5 -Therefore you and I, whether we like it or not, are part of a corrupted mankind. We need to be made completely NEW here in our lifetime. If we do not undergo this transformation, what does the Lord make very clear?
Day 6 -At this point in our thinking what question might we ask that Nicodemus (a pharisee seeking after truth) also puzzled over?
How often have you wished you could really change - i.e. from the inside out? How many New Years have you made resolutions to change a pattern of behavior and fallen flat on your face by January 2nd?
Day 7 -We can take heart because God has promised us that this life change (i.e. from the inside out) is possible!
Day 8 -The important thing to realize is, this radical transformation of our lives, that the Bible calls being "Born Again" (John 3:3,) DOES NOT HAPPEN BECAUSE WE TRY TO BE GOOD PEOPLE AND DO GOOD THINGS! How does it happen?
Ephesians 2:8-9 / Titus 3:4-7
Day 9 -In God's eyes, we are like dead men.
Day 10- So how does God manage to keep His promise that we read a few days earlier in Ezekiel 36:25-27?
John 3:16-17 / Ephesians 2:4-10
Day 11- Read these verses again and this time notice the motives that God had in providing His Son Jesus as the means for real change in our lives.
John 3:16a / Ephesians 2:4 / Titus 3:4-5
Over 1900 years ago the man Jesus from Nazareth died a gruesome death on a cross. He called Himself the Son of God and was the only man to resurrect Himself from the dead. This event in history procured the freedom of every man or woman since that date. And, the shadow of the cross falls backward as well as forwards.
Day 12 -What in reality took place on the day of Jesus' death?
Romans 6:10 / 2 Corinthians 5:14
What happened to Jesus? What happened to us?
Day 13 -Although you and I live in the 21st century, we are still able to identify ourselves with Christ's perfect and eternal sacrifice.
Day 14 -If we are going to be changed from the inside out, our old behavior must go. A new one must take its place. What is just as important to us as our identification with Christ in His death?
Romans 6:5,8,11 / 2 Corinthians 5:15
Day 15 -What is, therefore, true about any man or woman who identifies himself with Christ's death AND resurrection?
2 Corinthians 5:17
Day 16- Notice that "if any man be IN CHRIST, he is a new creature." (2 Corinthians 5:17) How does one get "into Christ"? This is best answered by Jesus' analogy of the vine and branches.
Day 17- To ensure this close union with Himself, Jesus promised to send us the Holy Spirit. Where was the Holy Spirit to live in relation to us?
NOTE: When Jesus spoke these words to His disciples, He had not died and risen again in order to give His Spirit to all believers. That's why He says, "for He lives with you, and will be in you." As long as Jesus was alive He was with them. But after Pentecost, He would pour out His Spirit and then continue living from within them.
Day 18- If we allow the Holy Spirit to live in us, we take on a new position. Who do we become?
Day 19- What MUST become evident in our lives when we begin to take our position "in Christ"?
I John 2:6 / I John 3:7-16 /2 John 6
Day 20- Therefore it is not compatible to claim we have been "Born Again" if we willfully disobey God.
I John 3:6,9,10
Day 21- Some of us are haunted by our former lives and Satan loves to remind us of our past. But what is TRUE when we take our position "in Christ"?
Day 22- Therefore we need to reckon that our old life is DEAD.
Day 23- Just for clarity.... What exactly does the Bible mean when it talks about our "old life"?
RECKONING is an accounting term and has nothing to do with how we feel. When sums are reckoned they are reconciled whether you feel them to be or not. The Bible says, "our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ (past tense) so that sin might lose its power in our lives." And so we stand on the truth of that. And when we do, real change comes.
Once we have taken our position IN CHRIST what follows?
Day 24- We begin to see that a great transformation occurs in our behavior because our thinking is different.
Romans 8:5-6 / Ephesians 4:23
Day 25- We can only stay abiding in Christ when we are DAILY making choices to do so.
John 15:10 / Romans 6:12-13,19
Day 26- The focus of our lives is radically changed.
2 Corinthians 5:15
Day 27- We become very certain about our life's calling and find all that we need in Jesus.
2 Peter 1:3-4
Day 28- Do you want to begin this year as a "New Creation" in Jesus (2 Corinthians 5:17)? Jesus Himself has extended to us His invitation. Notice in this verse what a gentleman God is. He will never force Himself over our own wills.
Day 29- There are only two responses to the Lord's knocking. The world is divided into only two groups with Jesus as the dividing wall. One response is:
John 1:12 / Romans 5:17
The second response is :
John 1:11 / John 12:48
Day 30- If you are older in years and lamenting the fact that you didn't align your life with Christ earlier in life, you can take heart! With the Lord, one day is as a thousand years. Even if you had only one year left to live, God is able to make that year count more for eternity than the 80 or 90 years lived previously! Which should lead to only one conclusion:
2 Corinthians 6:2
Day 31- For those who are born again what does Jesus promise?
For those who reject Christ's offer what do they receive by their own choice?
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