by Carla McDougal
If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come.
––2 Corinthians 5:17
Out with the old… Man.
In with the new… Man.
Fresh start. New beginnings. Forgetting what is behind and pressing forward. What is the full meaning of this verse… The old has gone; the new has come?
For some, it means…
a new commitment. Something like a New Year’s Resolution–– exercise, eating healthy, daily routine, changing an attitude, self-discipline, modifying an old habit, or reading through the Bible in a year. But, is there more to this statement than making physical life changes?
Absolutely! Digging into God’s Word, The Bible, gives us greater understanding of God’s Truths. With that said, let’s examine Philippians 3:12-14…
Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect,
but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.
Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do:
Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
Paul is writing to the church in Philippi––believers in Jesus. Paul is not talking about working his way to a position in heaven. He secured this spot the minute He trusted in Jesus. Paul focuses here on the condition of His relationship with Him. In other words, becoming more like Jesus every day.
Paul is clear to let us know that his past sins would always be before him. But, he refused to let them dictate who he was in Christ. Prior to Paul’s face-to-face encounter with Jesus in Act 9, his job was to arrest follows of The Way––Jesus Christ. More than likely etched in his memory were the innocent Christians he witnessed being stoned, imprisoned, persecuted, and even beaten to the point of death. But, because of Jesus’ forgiveness, Paul was freed from his past. Every day Paul chose to live in victory, not in defeat from his former ways.
What a beautiful picture of God’s love, grace, and mercy. Paul encourages us to press forward in maturing as Christians. Live for Him. As believers, we are forgiven––past, present, future. We are new creations through Him. The old has gone; the new has come. Don’t allow the enemy to throw guilt of the past onto you. Leave it at the foot of the cross. Jesus paid it all. A fresh start awaits you each day. Rest in Him.
LIVE FOR HIM CHALLENGE
Do you live in defeat? Does guilt invade your mind? Or, do you press forward accomplishing God’s purposes in your life? It is vital to trust and believe Paul––the old has gone, and the new has come. The minute you said, “yes” to a relationship with Jesus, He sent His Spirit, The Holy Spirit, to live inside you. The Spirit sealed the deal with a mark that says, “This one is Mine!” As a believer, you can never be snatched out of His hand. And, now you are equipped to live for Him every day. Believe it. Know it. Live it.
––My Prayer Chair by Carla McDougal
Award-winning author and speaker, Carla McDougal founded Reflective Life Ministries in 2008. Her true passion is her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. It humbles her to realize His love, grace, and mercy go beyond her understanding. She truly believes laughter is medicine from the Lord that breaks down walls and removes the masks in our lives. As a result, God has taken her around the world to encourage others to live every day for Him. Her latest book, My Prayer Chair, won multiple awards in 2013 and is now available in Spanish. Carla and her husband, Fred, live in the Houston, TX area and have three sons, one daughter, and two daughters-in-“love.” She smiles to think of the experiences God has allowed in her life to teach and remind her “He is in control.”
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