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Pursuing the New Life in Christ

Pursuing the New Life in Christ

If there’s anything I love, it’s studying God’s Word. My hope is that in every word I write, hearts will be pointed towards Christ. Every day of my life, I want to be found in pursuit of my King. Will you join me in that pursuit?

Romans 12:1-3 says:
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship.

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.

 

We see three key things in this passage:

1. The new life in Christ chooses to sacrifice self (verse 1)

Someone who has surrendered their life to the Lord and now has His new life inside of them begins to let go of past desires, wants, attitudes, and lifestyle and chooses to worship the Lord through sacrifice of those things instead. This choice to sacrifice is not only worship that is pleasing to God, but it is a response to His mercy that you have received (verse 1).

Have you ever felt utterly spent after a time or season of ministry or giving of yourself for another? This is because self was sacrificed. I’m reminded of a trip I took to California a little over a year ago now. I went with some close girlfriends to care for one friend in particular who had planned on getting married that weekend but had called off the wedding. There were parts of that weekend that were filled with fun and laughter simply because we were all together.

However, much of the weekend was difficult as we watched our friend grieve the loss of a dream and face the pain that her heart was going through. We wept with her, we prayed over her, and we did everything we could to just love on her in her time of great need. I did not return home after that weekend necessarily feeling refreshed and ready to face the next week. I was exhausted and emotionally drained, but that was the sacrifice that Christ was calling me to for the sake of another.
The new life in Christ will choose to sacrifice self.

2. The new life in Christ chooses transformation and a renewed mind (verse 2)

There are certainly costs to following Christ, and the process of transforming from our old self to the new life can be painful at times as we allow old ways, habits, or relationships to die, but the benefits far outweigh the costs. Rejecting the world and it’s ways will cost us, but being able to discern what God’s will is makes it worth every single sacrifice.

As we allow God to renew our minds and our thinking, we begin to think like Christ would, thus living our lives with wisdom and living our lives in freedom. We truly serve an amazing God who can take our old, dirty, sinful selves and make them new in Him!

3. Finally, the new life in Christ chooses to accept who you’re not and to embrace who Christ is (verse 3).

This is not about self-loathing or worthlessness, so please don’t go there. This is about godly humility, recognizing that any good thing that comes from our lives is because of Christ and Him alone. This is about understanding that on our own, we can do nothing, but with Christ, we are more than conquerors.

We can overcome because we have new life in Him. This is our hope of glory! This is our joy and our strength: I’m not, but because Christ is, there is no mountain I can’t overcome, no trial I can’t get through, no sin that can’t be erased and forgiven. I am His and He is mine. What a promise to cling to!

Reflection Questions:

  1. What attitudes and former lifestyle characteristics in your life need to be surrendered to God today?
  2. In what ways (be specific) does your mind need to be renewed? Do you respond to situations in such a way that would honor and glorify Jesus Christ?
  3. List as many attributes/characteristics of God that you can, and use this list to write out a prayer of praise and thanksgiving for all that God is to you.

5 Comments

Corinne Shark @ the Salty Shark

Cherie! It is a privilege to be invited in… May you release control of this space and allow Truth to flow. I love you and can’t wait to see how He refines your heart and your craft. xo

September 30, 2011 at 5:24 am

Ivette

Keep em coming! 🙂 LOVE it!!!
Christ in me -the HOPE of Glory. He is EVERYTHING!

September 30, 2011 at 6:30 am

Luong

I AM ALL IN!!!!!! I am having mrtaial problems. My husband is not a believer but was raised a believer by 2 beautiful believing parents. He has left me for another woman and wants a divorce. We have children but not together.He wants to be free and do whatever it is he wants.Just today I finally released him to God fully. I am trusting God all the way for his salvation and God to be real to him and also for our marraige that a divorce will not happen and he will come home to me his wife. Please pray and also put this up to your prayer team .Thank you

July 31, 2012 at 9:52 pm

John Cowper

Dear Cherri
I am utterly overwhelmed as I write this entry. The connection to your blog was sent to me by your mother Debbie. I haven’t seen your mother since about 1975. She recently found my email address and contacted me. My name is John Cowper and I live in Placerville California. I Met Your Mother and her friend the morning they gave their lives to Jesus! I was a cook in a restaurant and my two friends both named Michael have been witnessing your mom and her friend all night. I opened up the restaurant and we all went in and knelt around a table. And I was able to lead your mom and her friend to receive Christ! I’m overwhelmed as I see this beautiful blog expressing a living faith in Jesus! It’s a privilege to see his glory in what he has done over the years. I like the saying that anyone can count the seeds in an apple but only Jesus can count the apples in a seed! The last 37 years I have been a pastor in Placerville. We recently got young Pastors in our church and I have resigned to make room for them. This affirmation means a lot to me! We won’t really know what we have accomplished in our Christian walk until that day when all the wood hay and stubble are finally gone! Last week I got to pray with three different people to receive Christ! God is fast! I like to talk to just strangers Wherever I Go. Perhaps I will be allowed to meet you in person! What a joy it will be to see your mother at some point in the future. Much love, Pastor John

December 6, 2018 at 12:47 pm

Cherie Wagner

Hi John! Reading your words brings tears to my eyes and such joy to my heart! God is so good. Thank you for being so bold and courageous to share the Gospel with my mom and Becky all those years ago. The legacy of faith that has been built through my mom alone would truly astound you. I am one of countless who she has led to Christ. Her life is such a testimony to the love and faithfulness of Jesus. God Bless you!

December 6, 2018 at 2:28 pm

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