The other day I saw several large bumble bees flying around and I saw the pretty, yellow Irises that are in bloom in my yard. I couldn’t resist taking some pictures to capture the beginning of spring. For me, spring represents a new beginning, new life. Take time to look around you and you can watch the gradual growth of a bud into the flower stage by stage. It’s an amazing transformation.
You go through an amazing transformation as well when you are saved. When you confess Jesus is the Savior of the world and make him Lord of your life, you are promised a new beginning. The Bible says you are a new creation. Read 2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!
Thus begins the transformation only God can do. Most people don’t like change. You may be one of those. Change takes sacrifice and that’s not easy to do for most people. You have to say, “No” to your old ways of doing things and thinking and say, “Yes” to the new (God’s) ways of doing things and of thinking. Any kind of change is difficult, but allowing God into your heart and mind is well worth any sacrifice.
As a new creation, you are to RENEW your mind to think like Christ would think and to know God’s perfect will for your life (see Romans 12:2). Before accepting Christ, the way you thought was like the world would think. You simply accepted the opinions of the world and other people about you and life in general. However, there is a better way to think. As a new creation, you have the mind of Christ. It says so in 1 Corinthians 2:16
“For who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.
People may have told you that you’re no good. Let’s say you were beaten or neglected and that left you heart-broken, angry, resentful and hopeless. You accepted the way others saw you and believed what they told you. When you have the same thing repeated over you time and again, you start to believe it. That is the OLD way of thinking. Did you know that you are the apple of God’s eye (Deuteronomy 32:10)? Read Isaiah 49:15-16
“Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will never forget you! See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me.”
God actually has a picture of you on the palms of his hands! I’m sure you’ve seen people with tattoos of peoples’ names on their bodies. Do you think they would tattoo the name of someone they don’t like on their body forever? It’s usually someone they love or have loved very much. God must really love you then.
Do you know how many hairs are on your head? I’ll bet you don’t have a clue! God knows though (Matthew 30:10) for every hair on your head is numbered (Luke 12:7). Even his thoughts of you are like the grains of sand (Psalm 139:17-18). Accepting and believing these things are true and God loves you very much is the NEW way of thinking.
Let’s say your biological, earthly father deserted you when you were young. It made you feel unworthy of love, but did you know that God is a father to the fatherless (See Psalm 68:5) and even if you are forgotten by your own earthly mother and father, God takes you up (see Psalm 27:10)? And He will NEVER leave you nor forsake you? Deuteronomy 31:8 says,
The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.
That is what the Bible says. It is God’s word. It is truth. Renewing your mind means learning what God says about you and any given situation. How do you renew your mind? You can go to church and hear an awesome sermon, but God wants you to dig into his word on your own. Read the Bible. It’s God’s blueprint for life.
Again, “new” equals “change”.
My dog, Axel, was dropped off outside of our house in November of 2013. He was so emaciated you could see every rib in his rib cage and his hip bones were protruding up out of his backside. He was very sickly and would only lay around all day. This wasn’t normal for any puppy. So, when we decided to keep him, I took him to the vet and he said it was a severe case of worms. Well, a long story short, after medication, it wasn’t long until he was bouncing off the walls! My daughter had made the comment several times that maybe we should have left a worm in him!
He went from November 2013 until March of 2015 being just a house pet. For the most part, he did what he wanted when he wanted.
That all changed at the end of March. I enrolled him in obedience training school. My goal is to make him my service dog. Now, we work together often in his obedience training at home. I have acquired a service dog training vest and ask him if he wants to go to work every time I put it on him. He’s very excited at first, until he realizes he’s really going to have to work.
As a new Christian, I was very excited and filled with joy at my new-found life with Christ. It wasn’t very long until I realized it was going to take work on my part to live a victorious life in Christ and there were things in my life that had to change (there’s that “c” word again). Just like Axel doesn’t like the change at the moment from being a regular house pet to being a working dog, I didn’t and still don’t like change. However, I’m attempting to be more accepting of it now and a willing participant in what God’s plans are for me and my life. I’ve made the choice to try to be if I want God’s best for me.
The best way to bring about that change or transformation is by renewing your mind (do not ever just quickly accept everything a pastor, priest, preacher or biblical teacher is telling you to be true. ALWAYS compare what they’re saying to what the Bible says. If it doesn’t line up with what it says in the Bible, God’s word, then it’s not true and you shouldn’t adhere to those things. Any honest preacher/teacher will advise you to do the same). Study the word for yourself. Here’s a challenge for you. Don’t just read and study the word, but APPLY it.
There is room for a wide margin of error here. God knows you are human. Do your best every day. You will mess up often, but begin with a clean slate the next day. God’s mercy is new every day and God will bless your efforts if they are genuine.