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  • Writer's pictureRob

The Fifty-Fourth (Renewal)

I hope your week went well. Remember, every good gift comes from Yehovah! (James 1:17) And if we follow His purpose for our lives, He will work all things together for good (Romans 8:28). Perhaps another week I will dig deeper into that particular verse, but for now the tip of the iceberg is no, that verse does not mean He will give us everything good if we are a believer. This week we're going to discuss our renewal.

Let's start in 2 Corinthians 4 with some encouraging words from Paul and Timothy. Starting in verse 8, we see a similar environment described as what we're seeing today. We've got trouble on every side: Middle east conflicts rising, our nation rapidly losing face on the world stage, pressure being delivered on more and more aspects of life in an attempt to compel people to do certain things, even some churches requiring those things in order to attend. We are perplexed by many things: why some countries are not held accountable for egregious acts, why decisions are being made rapidly which are destroying our country from the inside, why despite all the outrage and protests and people speaking out against mandates they continue to be pushed. Yet despite these things, we are not distressed or in despair (or if you are, you shouldn't be!).

Why is this? Despite all that is going on, why no distress or despair? One answer is we know the ending! And we know He already won. That's exactly what is pointed out in verses 10 to 15. We keep our thoughts on Jesus' sacrifice for us, and the reminder that His resurrection proves our future resurrection. By this, even though our body is dying our spirit is renewed day after day (vs 16). We know what we see is temporary, but our resurrection results in eternal life (vs 18), so there's no need to be distressed or in despair.

This renewal is even more amazing because it is done in the likeness of Yehovah, our Creator (Colossians 3:10). It requires the removal of our "old man," the one that is corrupt, and the putting on of the "new man," which is righteous and holy (Ephesians 4:22-24). This "old man," was the one subject to the worldly things (Colossians 3:5,8), and these are the same things that will cause the wrath of Yehovah (Colossians 3:6).

This removal of our "old man," is a very conscious decision, and depending on the type of person you are that decision may be required by you continuously or periodically. You cannot just accept Jesus and believe in His death and resurrection and these things just disappear from you. This is not only because we are human beings and some of these things come naturally to us due to the fall of Adam and Eve, but also because we are in the world and the world is full of these things. Satan has produced a rich environment, full of the idea of accepting those things into your life as ok, and sometimes even encouraging them.

Take a close look at the list given by Paul and Timothy. You might be surprised. One of the items is foul language. Another is anger, and another is lying. There's also lust and covetousness, among others. The world would have you believe some of these things, like lying and foul language, are innocuous. It even promotes things like fornication and lust. So, it's important to keep in mind how God sees them.

These things cause the wrath of God, so they are no joke. To get an idea of what that wrath entails, just take a look at Revelation 15 with the seven last plagues. So, to avoid that fate, we are not only to put away the old man, we present ourselves as the living sacrifice I wrote about previously, not being conformed to the world, but renewing our mind which causes a transformation in us (Romans 12:2). Additionally, to round out our renewal we have the renewing given to us by the Holy Spirit (Titus 3:5).

So we can see a complete renewal is three-fold. It includes keeping our thoughts on Jesus and His sacrifice, remembering what it means for us, removing our old man and putting on the new man, which requires conscious, deliberate decision, and the renewing given by the Holy Spirit. As you go forward day to day, check the list given in Colossians 3:5 and 8,9. Remind yourself of these things to make sure they don't creep back into your life so you can continually be renewed.

Shabbat Shalom and God bless you!

-Rob and Sara Gene

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