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Thursday, April 26, 2018

Change Requires New Thinking

In review of Ephesians 4:21-24 it says, “Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him, throw off your old sinful nature and your former way 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 study is once again is from Ephesians 4:21-24. In it Paul tells us how to live as a child of light. He explains that since we have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him, We are to throw off our old sinful nature and former ways of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. Instead, let the Spirit renew our thoughts and attitudes. Then put on our new nature, created to be like God, truly righteous and holy.

Paul also remind us that the Good News will seem foolish to those who forsake faith and rely on their own understanding. The goal for me however, is to have others see a noticeable difference in the way I live. For I am to live as a person of light. Therefore I leave behind my old life of sin. And although I have a new nature, I will not always automatically think good thoughts and express all right attitudes. But if I keep listening to God, he will be working in me to slowly change my nature, as I trust God.

My old way of life, before I believed in Christ, is now completely in the past. I should put it behind me like old clothes to be thrown away. My decision to accept Christ's gift of salvation, was a once-for-all-time decision and is a conscious commitment I make each day. My life is not to be characterized by a drive for desire or impulse. Now I put on a new nature, head in the new direction, and have the new way of thinking that the Holy Spirit provides me.

Therefor real change in my life will require a new way of thinking. The battle to change the unhealthy habits will always be a mental battle. It starts in the mind, and it’s won or lost there.

Ephesians 4:23 says, “Let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes” (NLT). Ultimately I’m not going to change until my thoughts and attitude change. My daily quiet time is important to this process. The time I spend intentionally studying God’s Word and in prayer is the spiritual renewal in my mind. If I’m not doing that, I’m not going to have the power to change.

I have learned that the theological term for “change of mind” is the word “repentance.To repent literally means to change your mind.

The word “repent” is actually a Greek word metanoia. Metanoia means to change your mind to turn from death to life, sin to forgiveness, guilt to peace of mind, Hell to Heaven, your way to God’s way. The most positive change in my life will be when I repent of my sin and turn from regret to peace of mind and forgiveness.

I have to learn to think in new ways about my unhealthy habits. For instance, those habits are often strengths being misused. That in and of itself is a new way of thinking. I probably never thought of that way, but that would be repentance! That’s a change of mind. My unhealthy habits are often God-given strengths being misused.

I need to change the way I think. Philippians 2:5 says, “You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had” (NLT).

I believe that God wants me to learn to think like Jesus. I do that via a choice. I need to make a choice and say, “God, how would Jesus think about this?” The more I fill my mind with the Word of God, the easier that’s going to be.

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, I need to learn the truth from him. Get rid of my old way of thinking that was corrupted by selfishness, deception and lust. Allow the Holy Spirit to renew my thoughts and attitudes. Put on a new nature created like God. Then my life should illustrate this new nature. Also renew my mind by using the time I intentionally spend studying God's Word to renew my perspective, values and ultimately my behavior.

This morning Father “I ask you to help me think about my work tasks and relationship in light of what I have learned from you. Allow me to have the perspective to see things differently today, especially those items that frustrate me and add pressure. I also pray that you allow me to react in a loving manner with others that I interact with. Please allow me to not be irritated by interruptions. Allow me to think clearly, outline plans for future actives and effectively communicate and help to influence those around me. Lastly allow me make a difference. In your Jesus name, amen!”