We’re nearly finished with this NEW Series and I hope it’s been a great experience fo you. As you think about the new life you’ve experienced and the others who you know who need a new life, I hope these scriptures and reflections are valuable. Our own, David Holewinski wrote many of this week’s reflections. I hope that you find them as insightful as I have. – Kevin
If you would like to share the NEW things you see God doing, please email us at New@RestoreTrinity.com!
Then they took him and brought him to a meeting of the Areopagus, where they said to him, “May we know what this new teaching is that you are presenting?
What stands out to me in this verse is how open minded the Greeks are to this new teaching. However, it’s not that surprising because the Greeks were constantly asking questions and seeking knowledge.
I was recently on a sales call and the other person said, “you sure do ask a lot of questions.” He was right, I was asking a lot of questions. I wanted to learn more about the problem he was having. I wanted to dig deeper and find the root of the issue, not just surface level. That way when I truly had an understanding of what was going on I could see if my services would be a good fit for him.
Jesus wants us to ask questions. He even tells us in Matthew to become like children. If you have spent any time with a child you know they ask questions. Many many questions. They are curious and are trying to figure out the world and where they fit in.
As you pray, ask questions to God. Be like a child and seek more and more of His knowledge. God does not want a surface level relationship with you. He wants to go deeper. Also, after asking your questions, take the time to listen. Whether it’s spending a few minutes alone in quiet or reflecting at the end of the day, take the time to listen to His answer.
We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.
A baptism is a new beginning. A gathering of God, friends, family and the entire church to witness this new beginning. It’s putting yourself out there and saying “I’m all in.” It’s a way of saying “look, the old me is gone, and with God and all of you as witnesses, I am new.” It’s almost as if the newly baptized person has every witness as their new accountability partner.
I often struggle with accountability. I often try and change things in my life but the only person I tell about these changes is myself. That way if I don’t follow through the only person I have to answer to is myself. Never seems to work out well.
Ask God to be your accountability partner. To help you when your eyes wander, you’re consumed with anger, or feel like straying. Seek His wisdom and direction. Ask for His help to be new.
For when we were in the realm of the flesh, the sinful passions aroused by the law were at work in us, so that we bore fruit for death. But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code.
When we are bound to laws we are bound to written rules. These rules and guidelines are a good structure on how we should live. However, something is missing. We are like children without understanding and living without knowledge and experience. When we live by the Spirit we are living out the newness of life every day with Christ as our guide. We are free to be lead by the prompting of the Spirit and to grow in our new relationship with Him.
God, help me to listen to the prompting of Your Spirit. I choose to follow Your plans and exalt You in my life.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation.
I am currently reading a book that has some great insight about failure. I had no idea Abraham Lincoln filed bankruptcy 2 times and was defeated in elections for Senate, Congress, and Vice President a total of 6 times before he was elected president in 1860. Walt Disney was fired from a newspaper for lacking imagine and having no original ideas. Good thing these 2 men did not give up or our country would look dramatically different today.
We have a tendency to put labels on ourselves and others. “Once a failure, always a failure.” Or “I’m no good at this or that.” However, the word of God labels us a new creation. Through Christ, we are reconciled with God and no matter how many times or how bad you fail on this earth every day is new. A fresh start with new beginnings and new opportunities await us in Jesus.
Think about the mistakes you have made in the past. It’s good to know that we have all made mistakes and will continue to do so but God is not keeping score. Thank God for sending his Son into this world to reconcile our relationship with Him and we are a new creation because of this.
14 For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, 15 by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, 16 and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility.
This is one of the remarkable things about Jesus. Before Jesus, there was division everywhere. There were tribes and nations and kingdoms scattered throughout the world and none of them wanted anything to do with each other. The tribes and the nations had no commonality nor did they seek it. But, then Jesus comes and he destroyed the barrier. Today, because of Jesus we can meet people from other nations, ethnicities, status, and wealth and through Jesus, we have a common ground like never before. I could literally travel around the world and find churches filled with people who are following Jesus. Just like me.
Right now, we live in a world divided. Pray that our common language with one another through Jesus. That He would be our common ground and allow us to find common ground with one another, no matter how distant or different we are.
22 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
This passage is super direct and incredibly simple. We have an old self and a new one. The old one usually still has a hold on us. It’s familiar. It’s comfortable. But, there’s a new way of life which is calling us into a new self and a new attitude. That’s the one we should be pursuing because this is the one that is holy – set apart – something unique and separate. Those who have a new life with a new purpose.
As you pray, simply pray that you’d have a new attitude today. Pray that your attitude would shift or change to this new life and new purpose.
7 You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. 8 But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. 9 Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. 11 Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.
This list is a rough one to read because Paul (the author of Colossians) is just calling it like he sees it. That’s brutal. It’s no fun to see a list of things that we’re supposed to get rid of. Sometimes we like broad blanket statements. Maybe they’re called blanket statements because they’re so soft. But, when we see each offense explicitly listed that hurts, because maybe one of those words jump off the page and directly into your heart.
Today, as you dive into new life, pray that you’d have the willpower and stamina to reject these attributes of your old self. Be it, slander or anger or language or lying, pray that you’d be able to rid yourself of these things as you step into new life.