Wednesday - CHANGED


Kimberly Lawrence

Today's Scripture: “This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” 2 Corinthians 5:17 NLT

Theme: When Jesus is alive in us, our lives change; old is made new!


A transformation begins within us when we come to faith in Christ. The Holy Spirt, God Himself, now lives inside us. That doesn’t mean the circumstances of our earthly lives change in an instant and all our problems are resolved. It does, however, mean we begin our journey as a new creation.

Today’s scripture tells us our old life is gone and a new life has begun. What a relief! But, what if the ugliness of that “old life” lives strong in our own memory and of those that knew us before we became this new creation? Sometimes there are broken relationships, disappointments and doubts that remain very present in our lives. The immediate joy we felt when we were filled with the Holy Spirit can be quickly overshadowed by our own residual guilt, if we allow it. If you give that some thought, it’s counterintuitive. The very moment we are forgiven by the most holy God, freely and unconditionally, we sometimes layer on our own worldly standard, and possibly the opinion of others, and feel unworthy.


When my daughter was in middle school, she got dressed for the day in a sweater she picked out all by herself that weekend. I remember it vividly. It was chocolate brown with little knots that looked like polka dots. She looked and felt amazing, eager to go to school. Returning home that afternoon, her demeanor changed entirely. A “friend” told her she liked her sweater, but “would never be able to pull that off.” Instantly, my daughter went from beaming with confidence to self-doubt, wondering what that comment meant, exactly.

We read in Ephesians 4:24, NLT – “Put on your new nature, created to be like God-truly righteous and holy.”. In other words, wear it proudly! Do not be afraid of people saying, “you’ve changed” or “seem different”. That’s the point! Worry, not about the judgement of man (or even of yourself), because you are loved and forgiven by the One, the Alpha and Omega. Besides, God is more interested in who you are than who you were.

Pastor Will recently talked about the awareness of sin that happens when God lives in us. That awakening is not provided so that we dwell on the past, relive our failures, doubt our salvation, and feel hopelessly unworthy. The Holy Spirit provides recognition of our sinful desires, so we can avoid those things that draw us away from God going forward. We begin to replace those self-centered behaviors with the fruits of the Spirit. Be cautious not to put yourself (or others) in God’s judgement seat. He has forgiven you and that’s the only opinion that counts! “Who” we are trying to please changes in our salvation moment. It is no longer you or others, and it’s certainly not the world. It is only God.

Make It Personal: Yes, there are often amends we need to make for past hurts or breaches of trust. Sadly, some relationships are irreparable. But, in the moment you confessed your sins and asked Christ to be the leader of your life, you acknowledged and accepted the Sacrifice provided in your place. Don’t withhold forgiveness from yourself or hold the opinion of others too high when God has paid your debt, in full. We must also be willing to offer others forgiveness in the way we have freely received it ourselves. Forgiveness is the release of bitterness, anger and resentment. It’s as much for you as it is for the person you are called to forgive. Be cautious of judging others based on who they once were. They, too, may have experienced life change and a fresh re-birth thanks to our loving God.

Pray: God, thank you for forgiving me! Help me remember You alone made me worthy, a new creation. Let me not steal Your seat as Judge for myself or for others. I want to live a changed life and seek only to please You. I want to confidently wear my holy and righteous nature, thanking You for how you’ve changed me. Amen.

Read: Philippians 3:13-14; Ephesians 4:24: Colossians 3:10

Weekly Memory Verse: “But the angel said to the women, ‘Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for he has risen, as he said.’” Matthew 28:5-6a, ESV