Café Menu for Friday, August 29, 2014
Today’s Special is: How to be a New Creation, in Spite of Yourself
Carefully prepared just for you by your friend, Britta Lafont
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV
My kids and my husband call me "the brown thumb". My sister got all the green thumb genes from BOTH of my gardening parents. I am the kind of plant mother that doesn't have to worry about repotting plants as they grow...just about getting new ones, the same size as the old ones, when they die. I think if we could hear the little plant voices, crying out, as I wander through the Garden section at Lowe's, they would be saying, “We've heard about you! But we hoped you were an urban legend. Please, whatever you do, don't take us home!”
I think my problem is that gardening is such a time commitment. You plant. You wait. You hope. You pray. And you water. And there is morning and evening, a second day.
Results? They take a while. I read that an apple tree needs six to ten years of maturing before it can produce fruit. There is no microwave gardening, no instant gratification.
Holiness, walking in relationship with God, has been like that for me too; it has been a not-so-pretty journey. Whenever I'd read about the Fruits of the Spirit, I'd think:
What's wrong with me? Where's my love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control? (Galatians 5:22, 23, ESV).
For many years, I felt like a colossal disappointment to God. Every morning I got up with a clean slate. I was in the same boat with David who wrote, "...joy comes in the morning.” Psalm 30:5 ESV.
There at the beginning of the day, my heart would fill with promise, and I'd recommit to "being good" that day. And then I would get out of bed. It was downhill from there. I lived defeated. But, one day, this verse encouraged me:
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.â€¨The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV
I’d read the words before, but never connected with them personally. One pretty dark day, just when I needed some reassurance, God opened the eyes of my heart. Suddenly, I knew what “new creation” meant:
The work is already done!
I am the new creation.
I am the firstfruit, brought forth by the Word of Truth (James 1:18 ESV).
And you are too.
The really good news? God has promised that HE will finish the good work He’s started in you (Philippians 1:6). It is relationship with Him that helps us grow!
Don’t cultivate negative thoughts about your spiritual walk. Just remember how easy God has made it for us:
Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you.
James 4:8a KJV
He does the rest!
Dear Lord please help us to take our eyes off ourselves and fix them on You. Help us to seek Your Face and learn to love You well. Please show us progress on this walk of holiness, as we learn to be wholly dedicated to, and set apart for You.
For more encouragement, visit Britta at Girls Growing With God where she loves to write about the intersection of God’s Word in God’s World.
© 2014 by Britta Lafont. All rights reserved.