Devotional: October 29, 2021
You were taught to put away your former way of life, your old self, corrupt and deluded by its lusts, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to clothe yourselves with the new self, created according to the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.
Ephesians 4: 22-24 NRSV
To be renewed by God is the essence of conversion to Christianity. The Apostle Paul certainly knew this truth from his own life, having journeyed from being a persecutor of Christians, to serving God as an evangelist and planter of Christian churches!
The problem Paul points to might be summarized this way: “sin corrupts.” Like termites eating away at wood, or waves which slowly erode a beach, that which was once stable and has now become fragile, unreliable, and liable to collapse.
The only solution is radical: to be renewed from the outside. In the same way that rotten timbers must be replaced in a house, or a seawall bulkhead might be constructed on the side of a cliff, God desires to replace that which is corrupted in us.
As we prepare to remember the Protestant Reformation on Sunday, it is helpful to remember what it was all about: the corruption of the church in the days of Martin Luther. He sought, and many would say succeeded, in “Reforming” the church, with God’s help and the help of many, many people, including other leaders like John Calvin and John Knox (Presbyterian Reformers).
Is there anything in your life that is eroding or feels like it is falling apart?
Is there a place in your life that needs to be renewed and strengthened?
Such questions are worth contemplating, for God desires to continually help transform us from our former, sinful lives, into His holy, redeemed children.
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect.
Romans 12: 2 NRSV
When I am honest, I recognize that there are parts of my life which are not holy. Clean out the sin within me. You know me far better than anyone else does. Through the work of Your spirit, change me from what I have been, into who You desire for me to be. Transform me by the power of Your love. I pray this prayer in Jesus’ name. Amen.