10/3/05

Encouragement for Today

 

“Trading Places”

Micca Campbell, Director of Outreach, Proverbs 31 Speaker Team Member

 

Key Verse:

2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore, if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.” (NASB)

 

Devotion:

I love to watch the popular television show, “Trading Spaces.” The format of this program is built around the daring concept of neighbors agreeing to trade homes for a weekend. With the help of the neighbors, a designer from the show takes an old room in each house and, in just two days, transforms it into something brand new for the homeowner.

 

All the while, the homeowner cannot peek to see what is being thrown out and what new creation is being made in its place. It is only at the end of the show, when the host exclaims, “Time is up!” that the homeowner is allowed to see the finished product.

 

In a similar way, Christ has traded places with us. We give Him our old life in exchange for a new life in Christ. However, the makeover does not happen in a weekend. Once we come to Christ, we are constantly, day-by-day and moment-by-moment, being transformed into new creations. While our new identity is instantly true in the eyes of God, on earth it is still a process. We have to throw out the old. We have to discard old habits, old ways of thinking, and old ways of living. At the same time, our restoration begins on earth as we read God’s Word, pray, and fellowship with other believers. As new ways replace the old, our lives begin to reflect the heavenly character of our Father.

 

Sometimes it is hard to see the transformation that is taking place here on earth. From time to time, we may still struggle with the old life. Don’t let any of your old life lay around. Toss those old ways into the trash and spend time in your new room, a personal relationship with Christ. God says that we can be “confident that where He has begun a good work in you, He will perform it until the day of the Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 1:6, NKJ)

 

On that day when Christ returns, time on this earth will be up. Angels will applaud the unveiling as the Master Designer displays us, newly clothed in His glory for all to see. At last, we will be in full agreement with all that He has done! The exchange is complete; old things have passed away, and behold, we are forever brand new.

 

My Prayer for Today:

Dear Lord, thank You for putting to death my old life full of old habits and sinful ways. Help me to live my new life day by day, clothed in your righteousness and holiness alone. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

 

Application Steps: 

Identify one habit that does not fit your “new creation” and toss it out of your life!

 

Reflection Points:

Are you still trying to hold onto old habits?

 

If so, what is the benefit?

 

Do you need to cut old habits and make a clean sweep?

 

How can letting go of the old and embracing the new help improve your life for Christ?

 

Power Verses:

Ephesians 4:24, “You must display a new nature because you are a new person, created in God's likeness – righteous, holy, and true.” (NLT)

 

Colossians 3:10, “In its place you have clothed yourselves with a brand-new nature that is continually being renewed as you learn more and more about Christ, who created this new nature within you.” (NLT)

 

2 Corinthians 5:14, “Whatever we do, it is because Christ's love controls us. Since we believe that Christ died for everyone, we also believe that we have all died to the old life we used to live.” (NLT)

 

2 Corinthians 5:17, “What this means is that those who become Christians become new persons. They are not the same anymore, for the old life is gone. A new life has begun!” (NLT)

 

2 Peter 1:9, “But those who fail to develop these virtues are blind or, at least, very shortsighted. They have already forgotten that God has cleansed them from their old life of sin.” (NLT)

 

Additional Resources:

Do You Know Him?

http://proverbs31.gospelcom.net/knowHim.htm

 

What Happens When Women Walk in Faith, by Lysa TerKeurst

http://proverbs31.gospelcom.net/newresources_whatHappens.htm

 

Let it Rain (Music CD), by Gwen Smith

http://proverbs31.gospelcom.net/newresources_letItRain.htm