April 25, 2024 Devotional

You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires;
to be made new in the attitude of your minds… -Ephesians 4:22-23

“New!” That’s a word that’s been on my mind, in my heart, and part of life for months now.  My wife, Stacy, and I have a new (to us) home, a new zip code, new neighborhood, new bank, new pizza place, new ministry role, and so much else that’s new. Honestly, it’s pretty unsettling if I spend too long thinking about it. I’ll also confess that the attitude of my mind can often become anxious, overwhelmed, and downright obstinate.  But, my testimony continues to me that God has, is, and will keep sustaining us by the power of the Holy Spirit.  I suspect that you have some things in your life that are new, as well.  And, I pray you’re experiencing the same sustaining God that holds the universe in His hands.

Last week, we experienced a powerful move of the Holy Spirit doing something NEW in our midst.  The Convening Annual Conference in Camp Hill, PA was an incredible time of worship, prayer, fellowship, inspiration, and celebration.  God is doing something new in the Northeast Global Methodist Church, and we are witnessing a fresh wind blowing in our churches and ministries.  May God continue to keep moving us by the Spirit.  Many people commented to me that the freedom they felt, as opposed to the former way of doing things, was so refreshing and encouraging.  Praise God!

The Apostle Paul, in our verse for today, is pretty clear that we are to keep being made new every day – becoming more and more like Jesus through the renewing of the attitude of our minds.  God’s new attitude is what empowers us to shake off the old ways and embrace God’s new and holy way, obedient to hear the still small voice of the Spirit.  However, Paul reminds us that if we are to embrace that new attitude of our minds, we must cast off the sin and deceitful desires that tend to want to keep us locked in our old ways of thinking.  God calls us to a NEW way in Christ.  When we experience change to new things, we tend to either want to go back to the way things were, or we get nervous and resistant to those changes.  Paul calls the church to cast off the old ways in order to fully embrace Jesus’ way.

Many of our 50+ ordinands wore new robes during the ordination service.  They took the yoke of ministry in a new way, walking in the power of the Spirit in a renewed way.  That is what each one of us, no matter whether laity or clergy, male or female, young and old, are called to receive today wherever we are serving the Lord!  Put off the old way, with all it’s sin and troubles, and allow the Spirit to move in a new way in you to be faithful to the One who has called you, taught you, and equipped you to take on a new attitude!  Today, live into your new attitude by giving praises to God and loving someone who God puts in your life!