Have you ever thought you needed a heart transplant? Like you can’t believe you just thought or said that… Someone else would say it but never you? Our hearts carry who we really are deep down inside. Our hearts store up our negative thoughts and our positive thoughts. We aren’t conscious of this until we see, from God’s perspective, the true condition of what is in us. Without a new heart, we can’t hear God and we can’t see ourselves clearly.
So if we are born again, why would we need a new heart? Wouldn’t that be a given? Yes and no. God can’t have access to us without a new heart. We can’t truly change without seeing ourselves from His point of view. A new heart, a spiritual heart, is necessary for a new life.
What happens when we have a new heart? We can receive the Word of God for our lives. We can be taught self – discipline by the Holy Spirit. It gives us Godly compassion for others. A sensitive heart creates change in us to produce change outside of us. Vulnerability comes more naturally.
Ezekiel 11:19 is God’s promise to give us a new heart and the Holy Spirit. This is long before Jesus arrives on scene but it is an important promise. It is the promise of a restored relationship with God and a promise of the restored original design of humanity. We are supposed to be sensitive! God’s true heart is supposed to live in us.
Do you love this kid or what? I had to use this photo. He is living with abandon. Trusting he is going to land safely.
You don’t see The Message version of this scripture very often but I love how it says “in the One who makes me who I am.” I hope I have done a good job of showing you who makes us who we are, why and how. That is the goal of I’m Made New.
I think I have said this before, maybe more than once, we have a life to enjoy. We have humanity to serve. It is important to know who we are and trust that it cannot be changed, no matter our circumstances. We need to believe that we have a God who accepts us, makes us secure, and believes we are significant.
Our identity in Christ is our confidence to carry out the enjoyment and purpose of life on earth. What God says about us is truth, it is what we rely on when the world around us tells us otherwise.
Have you ever struggled with self acceptance? Or being accepted by your peer group? I confess that I have struggled with this, even as an adult. I gave it the power to define who I am.
When I learned that I had a new identity, an identity in Christ, I could see that I had already been accepted. It was like Father God had taken his hand, lifted my chin, looked into my eyes and said “I choose you.” For the first time in my life, I felt special.
Others don’t always accept me, God does. Always. We know we are accepted because God chooses us, making us part of His family. When we believe in Christ we get a new life and a new family.
Have you seen the video floating around about the little girl finding out she has been adopted? It is really cool, total tear jerker! This is in the story of every believer. God chooses us to be a part of His family. It happens they day we believe in Christ. We are in His forever family.
The Message Bible says: “Long before he laid down earth’s foundations, he had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of his love, to be made whole and holy by his love. Long, long ago he decided to adopt us into his family through Jesus Christ. (What pleasure he took in planning this!) He wanted us to enter into the celebration of his lavish gift-giving by the hand of his beloved Son.”
Ephesians 1:4-6 MSG
God took pleasure in planning for you to be His kid. Amazing!
Is it hard to believe that you are fully forgiven? It was for me. I thought the disaster of my life without God was too much to forgive. I felt unworthy of God’s free gift. But God saved me by his grace. I did nothing that said I was worthy. He said I was worthy, by the fact that He loves me.
Unworthiness is a hindrance to our restoration. Accepting God’s gift of grace, with joy puts us on the path of new life. Receive His love and forgivness with great joy. You are forgiven! You have a new life!
This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. (John 3:16-18 MSG)
Wait…don’t roll your eyes. I know you’ve seen it before. It isn’t just a book, chapter and verse. It has great meaning! Would you give me a minute to explain this scripture?
It goes on to say… “And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. Anyone who trusts in him is acquitted; anyone who refuses to trust him has long since been under the death sentence without knowing it. And why? Because of that person’s failure to believe in the one-of-a-kind Son of God when introduced to him. John 3:16-18 MSG
John 3:16 matters. God paid a high price. He sacrificed the only man that was truly good. He did it in exchange for us, who are less than perfect. But God forgives us, fully and completely. We get a new life because good was sacrificed for bad. Jesus died so that the bad is remembered no more.
John 3:16 reminds me of the lyrics of one of my favorite songs. “Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe, sin had left a crimson stain, he washed it white as snow…Oh praise the one who paid my debt, and raised this life up from the dead.” It wasn’t that we were worthy, it was that God wanted relationship with His creation…US. This is what it means when you hear the phrase, it is not about what you have done but what He has done. We have a new life so that we can have the same relationship Jesus had with God.
Do you know how far the east 🌏 is from the west 🌎? I’ll give you ⏰ to think about it… 🎶🎶🎶🎶🎶🎶🎶🎶🎶🎶🎶🎶🎶🎶 Infinite. They never meet. Don’t over think it! We aren’t doing science. We are doing faith! All of your mistakes are removed from you.
God’s forgiveness is radical! It is complete 💝 and total. Most importantly-it is for everyone👨👩👧👧, no matter what you have done.
God’s interest in salvation 🙌🏼 is not that we are worthy, it is in His ❤️ for us. His ❤️ and forgiveness is radical. Radical😎 love says that even while you are hating God through your actions, He loves you. He loves you so much that He sacrificed the only P.E.R.F.E.C.T. 👌 man on earth… Jesus… so that you could know God and He could know you.
To God, through the cross and resurrection, you are free and clear. When you make Jesus your Lord, your old👴 life is gone, your new👶 life has come. You are worthy. 🙏
Do you remember the day you were baptized? Did you sense anything different? No matter what you felt, that day you were made new. Knowing we are born again and have the Spirit of God in us is the solid foundation on which we build our new life in Christ.
I ♥️ The Message Bible. It makes scripture so plain, so clear. It packs a punch 👊.
📖 Romans 6: 1-5 says, “…That is what happened in baptism. When we went under the water, we left the old country of sin behind; when we came up out of the water, we entered into the new country of grace—a new life in a new land! That’s what baptism into the life of Jesus means. When we are lowered into the water, it is like the burial of Jesus; when we are raised up out of the water, it is like the resurrection of Jesus. Each of us is raised into a light-filled world by our Father so that we can see where we’re going in our new grace-sovereign country.”
You get a new life in a new land. AMAZING! 🙌🏼
I Am They sings this absolutely joyful song called From the Day about being saved. The lyrics say, From the day you saved my soul, till the very moment when I come home, I’ll sing, I’ll dance, my heart will overflow, from the day you saved my soul. 🎉💃🏼
There is a party going on in heaven when you give your life to Jesus. It’s your birthday! 🎂 Celebrate!
When I think back to my first couple of years as a Christian, I felt a lot like a baby learning to walk again. I was changed in the midst of some pretty frightening circumstances. My new self on the inside was trying to emerge while the outside still looked toxic. Paul says that we work out our salvation. It’s worked out over our lifetime and in all of the circumstances we find ourselves. As I was working the other day I kept getting an image in my head. Remember the body snatcher in Men in Black? The “bug” who killed a farmer and stole his body to use it as a disguise? I was recalling how he looked while he walked and talked and functioned in a body that wasn’t his, it made me laugh. I see the comparison though. When you are baptized and made new, your new self is foreign. You come in under the wing of God with all that protection and affection but walking in your new self can be awkward.
When you are working out your salvation, God reveals to us the things in our lives that hold us back. As I walked and talked, I had competing voices in my head. One said, “you are messed up, you have nothing to contribute, and no one likes you.” The other said, “I love you, you have confidence because of that, and I forgave you once and for all.” The voice of the Holy Spirit was competing with the voice of shame. I had to choose which one I would believe. There are a lot of ways to define shame. The one I identify with most is: shame says, “my circumstances define who I am.” It is a lie declared by the enemy over your life. Shame makes us want to hide. It silences our testimony. It stifles worship. It keeps us from sharing life with believers and unbelievers. It denies the work of the cross, claiming humility but cowering in pride. Why? Because shame says, “no one can know that and no one can see that.” Shame is the stop sign we sit at, wanting traffic to break long enough so we can resume travel on freedom road. The truth is, you are forgiven of whatever you are hiding and nothing can change the fact that you are forgiven. Because you are forgiven, you are free. You are free to participate in the Christian life, you are free to enjoy your life (thank Beth Moore for that anecdote) and you are free to stand before the Lord.
Shame also keeps us in condemnation. Condemnation at it’s best is walking with a crutch, at it’s worst it leaves us bed ridden. I think that we focus a lot on how we are sinners rather than saints. The longer we believe we are constantly missing the mark the longer it takes to walk in pure love and freedom. Our purpose lies somewhere out there, while we believe that what we desire will never come to pass. It’s all a lie constructed to keep us from living a full life in Christ. We are missing out because we don’t believe in the radical love of a triune God. One that sees your completed self, the fruition of your salvation worked out. You are forgiven past present and future. There is no condemnation in Christ Jesus! It’s time for us to shed our shame and put on our confidence in God and who He says He is. The forgiveness of God through His Son Jesus is so radical that it is only supernatural. The truth is, your sins are forgiven. The ones in the past, the ones you think you may have committed today, and the ones you might possibly commit in the future. It is all covered. PERIOD! End of story. Look up because His light shines on you! Yes, you. All the time, everyday. Whether you believe it or not. That is the radical love of Jesus for you. You’re just working it all out, claiming your identity, standing firm on that cornerstone, while the wind tries to blow you over. The awesome thing about that wind…oh, yeah, it’s defeated.