So Today's Scripture is: Day 1 ~ Ephesians 4:24 "And that you put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness"
As we go through these scriptures in Ephesians keep this in the front of your mind. Paul was writing to Christians. He was writing to the church at Ephesus. These books were not written to the unsaved, they were written to the churches of Paul's day to admonish, correct, and build up their faith in their Savior.
Many of us would look at this scripture and see Paul talking to a sinner "put on the new man" become "righteous and holy". . . but no, these scriptures are for the person who has already believed in Jesus as their Savior. Sometimes we are guilty of trying to 'preach' to the unbeliever some scripture that is not for them. Just like you wouldn't feed a baby a piece of steak, there is 'meat' in the scripture that is for people who are further in their journey walking with God. I'm not sure why I got off on that but anyway. . . .
Putting on the new man for me is praying today for God to help me be the person he sees as my 'finished product'. God doesn't just see me today, as the flawed person I am, He sees me as He has perfected me over time, and He knows that the path I am walking today will bring me where He intends for me to go and for who He intends for me to be. The person God intends for me to be has so many facets but by this scripture I know that in that will encompass righteousness and true holiness.
According to Websters, Righteous means ~ Acting in accord with divine or moral law; free from guilt or sin; morally right or justified; genuine; excellent.
Help me today Lord to act according to your law. Enable me to read your word with clarity and understanding so that I will follow your path more closely. Keep me from letting sin or guilt from past sins creep into my mind because if I dwell on these things, I am moving away from your righteousness, not getting closer to it. Help me to be genuine, most of the time, I feel like I am true to who I am, no matter who I am around. Help me to not lose that but to temper it with love and excellence.
I almost didn't talk about 'true holiness' and that was purposeful. . Growing up, holiness was taught to me as wearing dresses, not cutting your hair or wearing make up. Holiness was for lack of better words, a doctrine of the church I was brought up in. I had a skewed opinion of what God expects of us through our relationship with Him. I am not bashing people who believe that way, I believe there are alot of 'holiness standard' people who love God and serve Him. I also believe that folks that just follow what they are taught without convictions of their own, are just skimming through life and don't know the true joys of knowing God in a deeper way.
There are two kinds of Christians and I saw them both at Wal-Mart on Saturday; I went to church with both these ladies as I was growing up. The first lady I saw in the produce aisle gave me the biggest smile and is always ready with a hug and wants to know how my family is. I am able to share with her my walk with God and I am so blessed that while we don't dress the same or go to the same church, this girl knows I love Jesus and she not for one minute thought to herself, this girl is not ready for heaven because she doesn't dress like me. Not for one minute did her eyes or her heart judge me.
Three aisle over, as I was exiting the canned goods aisle, a buggy bumped into mine. I looked up and gave the same smile for a different lady. This lady glanced me up and down and said in the first two sentences, "So are you going to church?". . Wow, see, I shared the same events with this lady and I could see the whole time she was thinking ~ "well, your not saved like me". . . but I have news for her. Holiness is something you should see on the outside. You should see it on someone's countenance that they are sold out to their Savior. You should see in them that God is in the middle of all their circles and that they are at the center of His will. You see God's holiness on someone's spirit, not their clothes.
I have come to love 'true holiness' because that is when we allow our relationship with God to lead us in the path that He wants us to go. True holiness gives a liberty in Christ that we can't find anywhere else. To know that a Holy Savior bled and died on a cross so that I might be saved is such an awe inspiring thing. The dictionary tells us that Holy means~ exalted or worthy of complete devotion as one perfect in goodness and righteousness; divine; devoted entirely to the deity or the work of the deity. This last one sums up where I want my walk with God to be; Devoted entirely to the deity or the work of the deity. If we are putting on the new man, God will chip away the old one for the new one to immerge victorious over the things that keep us from being devoted entirely to Him.
I'm gonna be real transparent hear and talk about something I have seen God change in me over the last two years. I know I have a long way still to go, but hey, we need to show some progress.
Two years ago, I had a bad habit of what my family and friends call, the F Bomb....yep, I said it alot! Alot, Alot! I actually cussed alot in general, but the F Bomb was my go to word when I was really angry. As my walk with God increased, I found myself using it less and less. If I found myself using it more, I knew I had not been seeking the face of God like I should. Why on earth would I tell you I used to love to cuss? Because we all have struggles. We all have those things that no one who knows us on the surface would expect of us. Who knows you yell at your husband and kids or that you are addicted to pornagraphy or that you struggle to get up in the morning because you are so depressed or that you eat normally in front of folks but go in the bathroom and throw up afterward? Not many people know the things we keep hidden but God sees it all and He knows it all and the best part is, He knows we can change for the better because He sees the perfect us, that we will be as we continue to put on the new man, to pray and become closer to him, to be more righteous and walk in true holiness.