2 Corinthians 5:17 - Conversion is
2 Corinthians 5:17 (NIV) Therefore, if
anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The
old has gone, the new is here!
Changing Our Nature
My dog Molly and I arent getting
along. The problem is not her personality. A
sweeter mutt you will not find. She sees every
person as a friend and every day as a holiday. I
have no problem with Mollys attitude. I have a
problem with her habits.
Eating scraps out of the trash. Licking
dirty plates in the dishwasher. Dropping dead
birds on our sidewalk and stealing bones from the
neighbors dog. Shameful! Molly rolls in the grass,
chews on her paw, does her business in the wrong
places, and, Im embarrassed to admit, quenches
her thirst in the toilet.
Now what kind of behavior is that?
Dog behavior, you reply.
You are right. So right. Mollys
problem is not a Molly problem. Molly has a dog
problem. It is a dogs nature to do such things.
And it is her nature that I wish to change. Not
just her behavior, mind you. A canine obedience
school can change what she does; I want to go
deeper. I want to change who she is.
Here is my idea: a me-to-her transfusion.
The deposit of a Max seed in Molly. I want to
give her a kernel of human character. As it grew,
would she not change? Her human nature would
develop, and her dog nature would diminish. We would
witness, not just a change of habits, but a change of
essence. In time Molly would be less like Molly and
more like me, sharing my disgust for trash
snacking, potty slurping, and dish licking. She would
have a new nature. Why, Denalyn might even let
her eat at the table.
You think the plan is crazy? Then take it
up with God. The idea is his.
What I would like to do with Molly, God
does with us. He changes our nature from the
inside out! I will put a new way of thinking
inside you. I will take out the stubborn hearts of
stone from your bodies, and I will give you
obedient hearts of flesh. I will put my Spirit inside
you and help you live by my rules and carefully
obey my laws (Ezek. 36:26"27 NCV.).
God doesnt send us to obedience school
to learn new habits; he sends us to the
hospital to be given a new heart. Forget training; he
Do you understand what God has done? He
has deposited a Christ seed in you. As it grows,
you will change. Its not that sin has no more
presence in your life, but rather that sin has no
more power over your life. Temptation will pester
you, but temptation will not master you. What
hope this brings!
Its not up to you! Within you abides a
budding power. Trust him!
He who began a good work in you will
carry it on to completion until the day of Christ
Jesus (Phil. 1:6 NIV.). God will do with you what
I only dream of doing with Molly. Change you
from the inside out. When he is finished, hell
even let you sit at his table. [Max Lucado Daily
Devotional at maxlucado.com]
People who put their faith in Christ are
brand-new people inwardly. The Holy Spirit gives them
new life; they are no longer the same. We are
not reformed, rehabilitated, or reeducated - we
are re-created, living in vital union with
Christ (Colossians 2:6-7). At conversion, we don't
merely turn over a new leaf. We begin a new life in
a relationship with Christ. [One Year NLT SB
When you put your trust in Christ to save
you, he made you a new creation. You look the
same on the outside, but on the inside"in your
heart"you have been transformed. You may say, "I don't
feel that much different. In fact, I don't even
act that much different." You may wonder if
maybe this new faith "didn't take" somehow, or if
you missed out on something.
You didn't miss anything. Just as a
person grows physically"growth that is
imperceptible from day to day"so it is with spiritual
growth. You are just now beginning the spiritual
growth process. It's going to take some time and
you may not see big changes on a daily basis.
But over the course of time, you'll begin to see
those transformations in your life. Through Bible
reading and prayer, you will discover some changes
God wants you to make or areas of service to
which he is calling you. As you respond to him,
you will get to know him better. And you will
grow as a result. The desire to respond to
God"to sense his leading and obey him"is part of
the fruit of salvation. [The One Year Bible for
Two hours away from our own front door we
traveled completely around the world. We didn't miss
a continent. From Paraguay to the Congo. From
the Serengeti Plains of Tanzania into the
tropical rain forests of Malagasy, across the Indian
Ocean to mysterious Malaya. Then it was the tundra
of the Arctic Circle, Scandinavia to
Mesopotamia, Egypt to China, Manchuria to Siberia. From
the icy heights of the Himalayan peaks, across
the vast outback of Australia, on deep into the
tangled jungles of New Guinea .
In only forty-five minutes.
We ooohd and ahhhd our way through every
conceivable scent, sight, and sound. Nothing was the
same, except the small familiar sign that kept
popping up on the trails and the trees: Please Don't
Feed the Animals.
You guessed it. The famed San Diego Zoo
earned another blue ribbon. Where else can a family
hear the shrill scream of peacocks running free,
touch an elephant's snout, study in detail the
colorful crest of a rare cockatoo, look into the
ceaseless stare of a silvery gray koala perched on the
forked branches of a eucalyptus, or stand eighteen
inches from a cobra all in one afternoon? I'll
tell you, it makes the child come out from inside
us. As we marvel at God's handiwork among His
creatures, we gain a renewed respect for His creative
genius. Who else could ever come up with a
fat-tailed gecko? Or the two-toned tapir? Or that
weird, long-tongued okapi . . . part horse and part
giraffe(!) with fur like velvet and enormous ears?
Above and beyond all this, we had a rare
treat seldom witnessed in that hundred-acre
nucleus of Balboa Park. It was so unusual that our
salty guide was suddenly mute. We happened upon a
newborn. Can't remember the four-footed species, but
the tiny thing was no more than two minutes old.
There it lay out in the open. Still curled as
though in the womb. Wet, wide-eyed, and flop-eared,
that awkward, fuzzy ball of new life was blinking
at its very first glimpse of dirt, rock, sun,
and water. Standing over it was its mama, fresh
blood on her strong hind legs as she proudly
licked away the afterbirth and the cord. The other
animals? Hardly a second glance. They milled around
We could stay no longer. We had to "stay
on schedule," so we roared off, leaving a
choking cloud of diesel exhaust in our wake.
Many moons have passed since that
memorable episode, yet I can't get over the analogy.
What happened down there is an amazingly accurate
scenario of what happens every day around our world.
Not physically, but spiritually. Not among caged
animals, but in human hearts. Whether in Madagascar
or Monterrey, Zaire or Zurich, Belfast or
Birmingham, as traffic swirls by and the pace increases
and pressure mounts a new birth from heaven
suddenly transpires. For some, it's in the heat of
the day and for others it happens toward evening
or in the dead of night. Some newborns take
their first breath in a small church on a
windswept hill after hearing the simple yet stirring
story of the Savior's death. Others are in a
lonely prison cell sitting beside a radio. Still
others are on a campus surrounded by a few
Christians who care.
God steps in. Unannounced, He bursts into
the soul, bringing forgiveness, cleansing,
peace, a whole new perspective and dimension. He
calls it "eternal life." And the newborn? The
Scriptures paint the same portrait for all newborns:
a new creature old things passed away
new things have come. (2 Corinthians 5:17)
New hope. New attitudes. New feelings.
New direction. New destiny. The newborn shakes
his head, blinks, looks around at his first
glimpse of new life, and he can hardly believe it.
And the world? Why, of course, it rushes on.
Unconcerned, busy, preoccupied; it has to "stay on
schedule." Someone's eternal new birth has occurred.
Although it doesn't attract a second glance from
those standing around, God's kingdom is being
It happens every day in our vast world.
It even happened today. For all you know, maybe
two minutes away from your own front door.
[Chuck Swindoll www.insight.org.]
Transformation and Process
Remembering the scene from the Netflix
series The Crown still gives me chills. Princess
Elizabeth's father has died, making her Queen of
England. As she changes into a black mourning dress,
she reads a letter from her grandmother,
offering wisdom as she steps into her new role: who
she used to be will always battle her new self,
but in the end, "the crown must always win."
I've followed Jesus since childhood, but
only recently have I grasped what it meant to
become a new person in Him. When my husband left
and my life changed overnight, I had to put away
the person that easily gave in to hopelessness
and fear, and call on Jesus to make me tougher
than I felt. Almost six years later, on the other
side of trauma and heartbreak, I was a stronger,
healthier, more confident woman whose faith had become
solid. The old me still tried to win occasionally,
and at times my new life felt foreign. In those
moments, Jesus sent friends to remind me that these
changes were good. Unlike Elizabeth, whose new self
was a result of royal lineage, I'd become - and
continue to become - a new creation as a result of
His kindness and grace.
"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is
a new creation ..." Jesus makes us new the
moment we accept Him, but transformation takes a
lifetime, even when we are forgiven, saved, and
longing to be different. When we begin to see His
work change our lives for the better, we desire
for His strength to rule. by Jeanette Hanscome
[Mornings With Jesus 2019 Devotional by Guideposts and
Crippled by the Past?
On the television series Fixer Upper,
which ran for five seasons, Chip and Joanna Gaines
would choose an old house in Central Texas and
give it a new beginning. Sometimes the house was
for a young couple getting their first home, and
sometimes it was for a retired couple looking for
somewhere new. Joanna, the designer, came up with
amazing plans, and her husband, Chip, the builder,
implemented them. When they were finished, it was hard
to believe that it was the same house.
Have you ever wished you could start over
again, maybe in your marriage maybe in your
relationship with your children maybe with friends?
In a way you can, because 2 Corinthians 5:17
says, If anyone is in Christ, he is a new
creation; old things have passed away; behold, all
things have become new (NKJV).
As the J.B. Phillips translation puts it,
For if a man is in Christ he becomes a new
person altogether - the past is finished and gone,
everything has become fresh and new.
God can do that for your life. You say,
Its messed up. Its broken down. Its
It can become new and fresh in Jesus
Christ. It tells us in 1 John 1:7, But if we walk
in the light as He is in the light, we have
fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus
Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin (NKJV).
Notice it says all sin - not just some sin.
You, too, can have a new beginning. It
can start now. It doesnt matter what time of
the year it is. It can all change because of the
blood of Jesus Christ. You dont have to be
crippled by your past anymore. You can put it behind
you. [By Greg Laurie from Harvest Ministries;
I once was wearing a favorite pair of
gold earrings which were large and square with a
smooth, shiny surface. While I was on the telephone,
one fell off. When I backed up my wheelchair, it
wasn't on the floor. I wheeled into the hallway to
look for someone to help me, and immediately I
felt a clunk-clunk. The gold earring was impaled
on my tire. My friend plucked it off, but it
was a mangled mess.
I asked a jeweler, "Sir, could you please
make the crumpled earring look like this nice
one?" He rubbed his chin and replied, "Lady,
forget it. But I can make this one" - he pointed to
the smooth earring - "look like your smashed
one." It was an option I hadn't considered. After
a few minutes of hammering, I had a unique
designer-original: a pair of crinkled gold earrings that
reflected even more light than before!
When God allows hammering and hurting, he
is purposing to transform us into something new
and different. Like those earrings, we are the
same, yet poles apart. Best of all, we are better;
we are closer to reflecting the light of Christ
because of our weakness. The jeweler at the mall
could turn a flawless earring into a mangled one,
but only God can take a mangled life and change
it into a life that reflects the flawless
perfection of his Son, Jesus Christ. One day the
hammering process will cease and we will perfectly
reflect the image of our Savior.
Someone has said, "God ruthlessly
perfects whom he royally elects." In what way have
your hopes or dreams been smashed? Agree with God
to hold on to his wisdom and grace through the
hammering. It'll be a change for the better.
Lord Jesus, I believe you are
transforming me into someone far more beautiful, more
complete than if I had never experienced pain. I
trust you with the hammer! [Joni Eareckson Tada
What Kind Of Goggles Are You Wearing?
With their big eyes and huge pupils, owls
have amazing night vision. Scientists believe
owls can spot a mouse running across a field
under just a bit of candlelight. (But that begs
the question: What's a candle doing in a field?)
If we wanted to see as well as an owl in the
dark, we'd need a pair of night-vision goggles.
Night-vision goggles were invented during World War II
and helped soldiers spot danger in the dark. The
technology has changed over the years, but basically
the goggles gather and amplify any available
light. Some newer goggles can even work in total
blackness, because of an infrared illuminator. As you
look through the goggles, the images appear
green, because the inventors knew the human eye is
extra sensitive to that color.
The military frequently uses night-vision
technology. Many police forces also rely on the goggles
to track down criminals in the dark. But anyone
can buy a pair of night-vision goggles for less
than $200 to well over $2,000 - depending on how
high tech you want to get.
Everybody wears goggles. They might not
be night-vision goggles, but we all see the
world through a particular "lens." When you pray
to ask Christ into your life, you become a new
creation (2 Corinthians 5:17). At that moment, its
like you put on "God-vision goggles. You stop
seeing things the way you used to and start seeing
them through God's lens. Instead of looking at
purple mountains' majesty, you now see God's
majesty in magnificent mountains. Instead of a tiny
white blood cell, you see God's design for
protecting your body against disease.
As a Christian, you naturally view life
through a Christian worldview. Scientists and
scholars who don't believe in God see things
differently. When people choose to assume there is no
God, they miss seeing God's handiwork in the
world around them.
When you read articles and books written
by various experts, remember to think about the
kind of goggles these writers wear. As you read
and learn more about the Bible, you can test and
approve what is right or wrong according to God's
Word. Some scholars only want to disprove the
Bible - no matter what the facts say. They can't
see God's light, because their goggles block it
out. Embrace the best information. Make sure your
goggles are tuned into seeing the light in the
darkness. [Case For Christ For Kids by Les Strobel]
Many people saw Jesus as a man. He was
certainly an unusual man, but in their eyes, still
just a man. They didn't understand the cosmic
conflict behind the scenes, the spiritual
significance of His work, or the divine source of His
words. They regarded Him from a worldly point of
That was a mistake. Spiritual eyes see
differently, and some people saw clearly enough to
recognize Jesus for who He is. Jesus demonstrated this
kind of vision by calling Peter a rock long
before Peter acted like one, by recognizing
Nathanaels sincerity before they even met, and by
seeing the potential of a woman with a bad
reputation. He saw with spiritual eyes, which rarely
agree with the superficial vision we so often
apply to each other. He looked into hearts and
recognized true identity.
We have to learn to do that too. In the
Kingdom, we have to ignore natural perceptions and
see the truth of each other's identity. We no
longer define people by their past or even by their
present. We anticipate their potential in Christ. We
no longer consider only the exercise of their
natural gifts but also the quality of their faith,
through which God can do wonders. We see children as
mighty people of faith, the poor as privileged
experts in depending on God, the quirky and
eccentric as those who are free to follow the Spirit
rather than being enslaved by the opinions of human
beings, the servant-hearted as great in the Kingdom
of God. We don't measure with worldly
measurements; we measure with the heart of God.
Cultivate true vision. Hunt for treasures
in people rather than looking for flaws.
Instead of seeing what someone has done, see instead
what God can do in them. Before you were a new
creation, you were potentially a new creation.
Everyone in the world falls into one of those two
categories. Learn to look past the old and see the new.
[The One Year Heaven On Earth Devotional by Chris
I am the risen One who shines upon you
always. You worship a living Deity, not some
idolatrous, man-made image. Your relationship with Me is
meant to be vibrant and challenging, as I invade
more and more areas of your life. Do not fear
change, for I am making you a new creation, with old
things passing away and new things continually on
the horizon. When you cling to old ways and
sameness, you resist My work within you. I want you to
embrace all that I am doing in your life, finding
your security in Me alone.
It is easy to make an idol of routine,
finding security within the boundaries you build
around your life. Although each day contains
twenty-four hours, every single one presents a unique
set of circumstances. Don't try to force-fit
today into yesterday's mold. Instead, ask Me to
open your eyes, so you can find all I have
prepared for you in this precious day of Life. (Mat.
28:5-7; 2 Cor. 5:17) [Jesus Calling by Sarah Young]
Christianity elevates every human experience
into a new relationship, designated by the term
in Christ. [SDA Bible Commentary]
GREAT VIDEO CLIP " ONE OF THE BEST
LINKS FOR FURTHER STUDY ON THIS PASSAGE
EXCELLENT VIDEO SERIES ON 28 REVELATIONS OF
1st of 28: Divine Dining:
2nd of 28: Pictures of the Divine:
3rd of 28: A Dirty Bible:
4th of 28: Cared For:
5th of 28: Saved:
6th of 28: You Can Change:
7th of 28: Reprogramming Our Brains:
8th of 28 Our Holy Father:
9th of 28 Gifts of Service:
10th of 28 The Holy Spirit:
Live ongoing series in progress.
If anyone has a paraphrase, commentary or
testimony on this passage of Scripture, either
personal or otherwise, I would be interested in
hearing from you. Thanks in advance and let's keep
uplifting Jesus that all might be drawn to Him. Fred