It is almost the New Year and it is the time that we start seriously thinking about what we are going to change in our lives. We resolve to eat less cookies, to eat more celery (it takes more calories to digest it than are in the stalks!), to read more Scripture, to journal every day, to only go to Starbucks once a week, etc. Some resolutions we keep faithfully and some are forgotten about within a couple of days.
In Philippians 3, Paul wrote that it is no trouble for him to write to the Philippians about the same things over again. Paul knew that we often forget the lessons that we have learned, even the ones we have learned the hard way. Paul also wrote that believers are to put off the old sinful patterns that they have and to put on the new selves that reflect that they are made in the likeness of God (Ephesians 4:22-24). We see this theme of putting off and putting on and the theme that Christians are the Lord’s representatives throughout the New Testament.
Today I was convicted by the words in Philippians, “conduct yourselves in a manner that is worthy of the Gospel.” I realized that often I am a shameful representation of the Gospel. This happens when I do not deny myself, but rather I gratify my flesh. My challenge to you (and my application for today) is that you examine your life this New Year’s Eve to see what sinful patterns you have allowed this past year and that you discipline yourself to put off the old and put on the new this year.