When it’s time for something new, out goes the old.
I can remember when Eric and I first married, we had my parent’s old bedroom furniture. It was great, but it wasn’t ours.
Then I remember when we finally were able to buy our own furniture. It was time to get rid of the old and replace it with the new.
Throughout Paul’s letters, this is a focal theme.
This idea of casting off the old man and putting on the new man.
Now, if you are like me. This is all easy to teach but hard to live.
For how do we daily put off the old man and put on the new man?
How do we daily die to self?
How do we do this???
I have been thinking on this for some time and am still not there.
But, I do believe it starts with this concept of denying self.
Jesus said, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross and follow me.”
In order to follow Christ, we have to deny ourselves.
In Col. 3 Paul tells us to “Therefore, consider the members of your earthly body as dead to …….”
Before the new can replace the old, the old has to be removed.
And Paul tells us that for this to take place we have to put to death our natural desires or tendencies.
In 2 Corinthians 4, he puts it like this. He says, “For we who live are constantly being delivered over to death for Jesus sake; so that, the life of Jesus may be manifested in our mortal flesh.”
In order for Christ to live in and through us. We have to daily die to self.
Now, this is not fun.
In fact it’s hard and most of us give into what self wants rather than deny self.
I still remember a student in seminary who would not get seconds on spaghetti because he chose to deny himself. At the time, I thought he was a bit extreme.
But, I think he was on to something.
Paul said, “I beat my body into submission.”
Paul understood that in order to be dead to self, he had to daily die to self.
Once we have denied self, then and only then can Christ shine through us.
We are putting off the flesh and putting on Christ.
And this takes place when we, “Let the Word of Christ richly dwell within (us).”Col. 3:16
What dwells in you?
If we are honest, we all have a bit of pride, selfishness, fear, anger, bitterness….. within us.
And Paul would say, die to that, put that old man off.
Then let God’s Word dwell richly within you.
Let God’s Word infiltrate your mind.
Let it rule your heart.
Let is govern your life.
May God’s Word feed your soul daily.
I’m convinced that in order to put off the old and put on the new.
These are two key instructions.
We must deny ourselves and allow God’s Word to richly dwell within.
Only then can we be dead to ourselves and alive to Christ.
Where are you today? Do you daily practice denying self? What do you dwell on? The things of this world or the things of God?
Lord, we want to live for you. We want to put off the old man and allow Christ to shine through. Help us by your grace to deny ourselves. Give us an unceasing hunger and unquenchable thirst for You and your Word. May it richly dwell within our hearts, minds and souls. Protect us from the enemy and his lies. We need you O Lord, for the help of man is useless.