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Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Change Requires Learning the Truth

In review of Ephesians 4:21-24 it say, “Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him, throw off your old sinful nature and your former of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God, truly righteous and holy” (NLT).

Today’s passage comes from Ephesians 4:21-24. In this Paul is telling us how to live as a child of light. He tells me that since I have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him, I am to throw off my old sinful nature and my former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. Instead, let the Spirit renew my thoughts and attitudes. Then put on my new nature, created to be like God, truly righteous and holy.

Paul reminds me this morning that the Good News will seem foolish to those who forsake faith and rely on their own understanding. However, others should be able to see a difference in the way I live. For I am to live as a person of light. Therefore In this passage Paul tells the Ephesians (and myself) to leave behind the old life of sin. Living a life as his follower will be a process. Although I have a new nature, I will not always automatically think all good thoughts and express all right attitudes. But if I keep listening to God, I will be changing all the time. Although change may be slow, it will come as I trust God to change me.

My old way of life, before I believed in Christ, is completely in the past. I should put it behind me like old clothes to be thrown away. When I decided to accept Christ's gift of salvation, it was both a once-for-all-time decision as well as a daily conscious commitment. I am not to be driven by desire and impulse. I must put on a new nature, head in the new direction, and have the new way of thinking that the Holy Spirit provides.

Afterall, I will never change the things in my life that I know are unhealthy unless I learn the truth. Change requires learning the truth.

Jesus said, “And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:32 NLT). I’m not going to be free until I know the truth. The secret to personal change is not a pill, program, or process. It’s not therapy, a book, or a seminar. It’s not positive thinking or psychology. The proof of personal change is found in the truth. I need to know and face the truth about myself, God, and my relationships before I can change.

Behind every self-defeating behavior in my life is a lie I’m believing. I lie to myself all the time. But I have to know and face the truth if I’m going to change.

Jesus said the truth will set me free. But first it will make me miserable! It will make me miserable as long as I deny it. The moment that I’m honest with the truth about myself and everything else in life, then it starts to set me free.

Who is the truth? Jesus said, “I am the truth.” Not “I have it.” Not “I point the way.” Not “I teach it.” He said, “I’m it. I am the truth.”

I can trust his Word. His Word is the Bible.

The Bible helps me grow and change in a number of ways: “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17 NIV).

The Bible is like a map. It shows me where to walk and how to stay on the path. It shows me when we get off the path and how to get back on the path. When I rely on God’s Word to show me where and how I should walk, it will give me the instruction and knowledge I need to change my life.

Bottom Line:
When we accept Him and His teaching, we can throw off our old way which was corrupted by lust and deception and let the Spirit renew our thoughts and actions.

What this means to me:
Since accepting Christ and learning the truth that comes from him, I can throw off my old sinful nature and former way of living, which had been corrupted by lust and deception. Now, I should let the Spirit renew my thinking and attitude. Put on that new nature, the one created to be like His character.

In summary, my life will change as I follow Jesus, for he reveals the truth to me. I can put on my new nature and let the Spirit renew my thoughts and attitudes. If I listen and follow, I will change. As I put on my new nature, my life will look different, and others should be able to see a difference. “Father this morning I pray that your truth will fill my life and through the help of the Spirit change the way I work with people today. Allow me to be understanding and to respond in a way that is helpful to them. Allow Jesus to be seen in me. Also help me to guide my team in the right actions to to complete to move the organization ahead. Help me to respond to situations that come up today much like Jesus would. In his name, Amen.”

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