Old vs. New Part 1

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Ephesians 4:17-19 So I’m telling you this, and I insist on it in the Lord: you shouldn’t live your life like the Gentiles anymore. They base their lives on pointless thinking, and they are in the dark in their reasoning. They are disconnected from God’s life because of their ignorance and their closed hearts. They are people who lack all sense of right and wrong, and who have turned themselves over to doing whatever feels good and to practicing every sort of corruption along with greed. 

The rest of chapter 4, Paul is talking about attitudes and lifestyles that cause division among believers. Today, we look at the first thing that Paul wants to address: pointless thinking. How many times do we go through our day and look back only to realize we spent the majority of our time thinking about things that really did not matter or had no consequential effect to what went on throughout the day? Where does your mind go when you want to be right? Where does my mind go when I think that my way is not wrong?

We can keep this mindset; but what will happen is that we end up allowing these thoughts, these paradigms to control, not only our thinking, but our actions and attitudes about other people. Paul is addressing the difference life can make in Jesus Christ. As I read through Galatians, last month, it dawned on me that we are completely free in Jesus Christ and we do not have to let our minds and other people control how we act and what we think. We are free to be the people God calls us to be. We are free to love, free to give, free to serve, free to forgive, free to empower people, and the list goes on and on.

This is the difference between the “old way of life” and the “new way of life.” We do not need to allow pointless thinking, which actually drives us away from loving God and loving other people, to control our lives. When we keep our eyes and heart on Jesus Christ, we can see the true beauty and the redemption that God is doing today, in and through us.

Pointless thinking means that we spend so much time thinking about things that are wrong that we can forget to look at the things that are good. We do not need to live in any kind of fear or control, except through the control of love, which actually gives us even more freedom. Disconnection happens when we forget to see how God is moving in other people’s lives.

How can you, how can I, allow the Gospel of Jesus Christ is change and shape us to live a life that is “worthy” of our calling and bring people to faith in Christ because of our actions and words?

#TheGospelChangesUs

Published by

Ryan Stratton

Ryan Stratton is a pastor in the Texas Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. He serves with his wife, Amanda, along with their children. He writes about life, faith, and leadership through his blog.

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