Daily Devotional

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Becoming News

So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new! 2 Corinthians 5:17

There is something about following Jesus, inviting Jesus into our lives, and living by Jesus’ example that remakes us in important ways. When commit ourselves to living in relationship to Jesus, we become new. Our self-centered, self-absorbed, and sinful lives are converted into lives that focus on the needs and concerns of others. We are transformed from self-interested creatures into people whose primary interest has something to do with the interests of God. This is not to say that we become perfect people—by no means! But, with Jesus, our orientation and the course on which we find ourselves in life has us pointed in the right direction. Following Jesus is just better than following our own selfish instincts and desires. That new beginning we long for can be had when we get into Christ more than we are into ourselves.

Do you long to be made new?

Lord, I want to be made new. I hear so many people who believe they are good people who focus on making good decisions. I just do not have that kind of confidence in my own righteousness. I know I am flawed and sinful and on a path that is less than ideal. I am so very tired of following my own whims and fancies. I don’t want to chart my own course in life, because I know all too well the destination I wind up at. I want something new, something more, something only you can provide. I want to be a new creation, your creation. In Jesus’ name, I pray. AMEN.

Helpful Scripture

All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, so that everyone who belongs to God may be proficient, equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16–17

Many people are scared of the Bible. It seems like an ancient and confusing book that has very little to do with our contemporary lives. The few times we have decided to open the book—perhaps deciding on a whim to finally read it from cover to cover starting with Genesis—we have been alarmed by its content. The story seems so violent, God seems so vengeful, and humanity seems embroiled in more sin than we could ever be free from. There are reasons why our Bibles are on a shelf collecting dust somewhere or lost in some long-forgotten location. We don’t understand the Bible, we don’t trust the teaching inside, and we feel intimidated by other Christians who claim that the Bible is an easy to use manual for living.

For all our doubts, however, there is a sense within us that the Bible might just hold the answers to the gnawing questions within us. Printed on those delicate pages just might be some direction we desperately need. And in a world held captive by uncertainty, violence, and a desire to do our own thing and find our own way, the Bible might be able to take our intense focus off ourselves and refocus us on God. Maybe it is time to locate our Bibles, dust them off, take them to a study group in a church, open them with greater regularity, and discover the faith that has given direction and hope and purpose to countless people over thousands of years.

Where is your Bible right now?

Lord, I want faith to be easy and for the books I read to be accessible. The Bible is neither of those things. If it is full of words you have inspired, why have you made it so difficult to comprehend? Is it because you want me to wrestle with the mystery in its pages? Do you want me to be pressed into relationship with other people who can make the biblical stories intelligible to me? Is it because you want all my attention to be focused on your word and not drawn in a thousand other distractions? I realize that may be the case. So, Lord, let me find my Bible, dust it off, and begin to engage it as if it were part of the conversation you want to have with me. In Jesus’ name, I pray. AMEN.