This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! 2 Corinthians 5:17
You are living a brand new kind of life that is continually learning more and more of what is right, and trying constantly to be more and more like Christ who created this new life within you. In this new life one’s nationality or race or education or social position is unimportant; such things mean nothing. Whether a person has Christ is what matters, and he is equally available to all. Colossians 3:10-11
As you live this new life, we pray that you will be strengthened from God’s boundless resources, so that you will find yourselves able to pass through any experience and endure it with courage. You will even be able to thank God in the midst of pain and distress because you are privileged to share the lot of those who are living in the light. For we must never forget that he rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us into the kingdom of his beloved Son, that is, in the kingdom of light. For it is by his Son alone that we have been redeemed and have had our sins forgiven. Colossians 1:11-14
Today's thoughts from today's verses:
The Word of God emphasizes powerfully and clearly that a Christian is a new person with a new life. On the one hand this can be a very attractive prospect for a person when they are in the exploring stage of the journey of faith. Some of what is said to be "bad" has been bad in our lives and we want these bad things "out" of our lives. Some of what is said to be "good" we know has been missing and we have a desire for it to be "in" our lives. On the other hand some of what is said to be "bad" we have a hard time viewing as bad and some of what is said to be "good" we have a hard time viewing as "good."
But in order to move beyond this exploring stage of the journey of faith we need to recognize that there isn't a menu from which we get to make selections for what will be in and what won't be in our lives. We are called to be an entirely new person with an entirely new life as Christians. So, when we embrace Christ as our Savior, it is important that we do so with full recognition that he will now be in charge of producing the "new person" and "new life" he has in store for us.
The Scriptures above paint a wonderful picture of the new person we are and the new life we have in Christ through these words, "a new life has begun," "a brand new kind of life," "more like Christ," "new life within," "transferred us into the kingdom of his beloved Son." These words stand in stark contrast to the concluding words of our story from last week which said, “Then the master said to his other servants, “Now, throw that good-for-nothing servant far away from me into the outer darkness, where there will be great misery and anguish!” At the end of last week’s Devotional set we said we would explore this week what these dire consequences are all about. You might want to go back and read the entire story again in Matthew 25:14-30.
I want you to see something about the dire consequences of verse 30. They are not a part of the story Jesus is telling but rather they are his application of the story. The human master in our story cannot “throw someone into outer darkness where there will be great anguish and misery.” We are not told what the human master might have done to his good-for-nothing servant. Jesus chose to switch from the story to real life. Remember, Jesus is telling us what the kingdom of heaven is like. In the first two servants we see what it is like and in the third servant we see what it is not like.
The kingdom of heaven is at hand and Jesus is offering it to all who will come out from the religious system of the day and follow him. Followers of Jesus will be rescued from the domain of darkness and transferred to his heavenly kingdom and they will become like the first two servants who advance the heavenly kingdom and someday enter into the joy of their Master as good and faithful servants. Followers of Jesus are not like third servant and will never receive the dire consequences of verse 30. We will see who these dire consequences are for as we look much more closely at the third servant and how he represents what is not the kingdom of heaven in our Devotionals throughout the rest of the week.
Today's prayer response from today's thoughts:
Lord, kindle a burning fire in my soul for wanting, embracing, and pursuing all that you have in store for me in regard to being a "new person" with a "new life." I rest assured that I am fully redeemed, forever forgiven of my sins, and permanently rescued from the domain of darkness and transferred into your heavenly kingdom. As such I know you will help me to become the productive kingdom member you have destined me to become. Amen!
Posted on Mon, March 25, 2019
by Ken Hart