Remember last March, when we thought our lives would be back to normal by May? June at the latest. Okay, July. Could be August. September? Nope.
Now it’s October. The bright blue skies and colorful leaves are as beautiful as ever, but nothing is quite the same this season. Where we go, what we do, who we see, how we connect, and when we travel — even across town — is different now.
Even so, God is the same yesterday and today and forever. His mercies remain new every morning. And He continues to recreate us in the image of His Son.
Here’s one verse to help us stay the course this season:
Put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. Ephesians 4:24
Put on the new self,… Ephesians 4:24
Yes, please. Because I am so tired of my old self. Aren’t you? I’m weary of being that woman who frets and fusses and dithers and delays and keeps planting her stake in the ground with one hand, and then pulling it out with the other.
The Lord knows us well, which is why this is a command, not a suggestion. “Start living a new life” (NIrV), He tells us. “Put on your new nature” (NLT) and “be that new person” (ERV).
I love how He makes it so visual for us. “Enrobe yourself” (OJB), His Word says. “Put on the clean fresh clothes of the new life” (PHILLIPS).
Sister, we know all about clothes. About getting dressed three times in one morning, trying to figure out what to wear. But our spiritual selves? Vastly more significant and a far better way to invest our time and energy.
Help us, Lord. Fashion our made-new selves in a way that’s pleasing to You.
…created to be like God… Ephesians 4:24
This is the new self God is eager to see: the one that looks like Him.
Since we were “created according to God’s image” (CEB) and “made by God’s design” (PHILLIPS), He is providing all the strength we need to lay aside our old lives — the bad habits, the wasted hours, the pointless purchases, the uncharitable thoughts — and step into our new lives, “modeled after the very likeness of God” (VOICE).
He has in mind for each of us a fresh and vibrant life, “which is being created the way God intended it” (NTE). Yes, even in 2020, with all we’re going through. In fact, especially with all we’re going through, we need a restart, a reset, a rejuvenated faith in the One whose Holy Spirit lives in our hearts, remaking us from the inside out.
…in true righteousness and holiness. Ephesians 4:24
Okay, both those words give me pause. Can we really manage “the true life that is upright” (GNT) and hope to attain “genuine holiness” (NTE)?
The short answer is no. And yes, absolutely.
No, if we’re depending on our own willpower and effort. Yes, if we trust entirely in God, who alone has the power to produce in us “the righteousness and holiness that flow from the truth” (CJB).
Eugene Peterson’s paraphrase of this verse captures His truth perfectly:
“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).
Lord Jesus, please help us. We don’t simply want to be better. We want to be different, altogether new, remade in Your image and for Your glory. Amen and amen.
A new season with my sisters
For eight Sunday evenings, October 11 through November 29, I’ll be teaching The Women of Christmas Sundays@Seven on Facebook LIVE at 7pm ET/6pm CT/5pm MT/4pm PT. Thousands of women joined us the first night. We’d love to see next week!
Not on Facebook? Sunday nights won’t work? No problem. As soon as the live event ends, I’ll post a link on my website that anyone can watch, even if you don’t have a Facebook account. Look for it on this page on my website. Scroll down a bit and you’ll find the latest video link and the printable handout.
Each week’s video will be available to watch for a full seven days, and then will disappear Sunday evening, ready to be replaced by the new week’s teaching.
If you’d like to buy the book, you’ll find it HERE, along with lots of helpful resources. We also gave away five free copies…
On Friday, October 16, I chose five winners to receive an autographed copy of The Women of Christmas. You are still more than welcome to post a comment below, sharing the one good thing you’re looking forward to this bound-to-be-different holiday season.
God bless you, dear friend, every season of the year.
Your sister, Liz