Just days away hopefully anyway from at long last replacing my car with 260,000 miles on it that I have used for being on the road for Jesus full-time with my handicapped ministry dogs, I loaded it up with my sweet dogs, a little picnic, and headed off for a little day trip in south Florida my latest location. Let me take that back. I didn’t head off. I tried to. But one turn of the ignition had me quickly out of the car, get my dogs out to be safe God forbid the car catch on fire given the horrendously loud and obnoxious sound that had come at the turn of my key, and walk over to the mechanic next door to my hotel for help.
Turns out someone had gotten down on the ground with a piece of equipment and stolen my catalytic converter and a fuel sensor to sell it to make some money. I can promise you in the past I would have been unbelievably angry, self-pitying, stirring up drama wherever I could, meanly telling the hotel to pay for the damage to my car, pushing and pressuring people to help me, acting like the world had ended, and creating chaos to the extreme.
Instead, only by God’s grace, I had love, mercy, compassion, and forgiveness for those who had done it. Not days, weeks, months, and years later. Then. I prayed for them and told the police officers who came I would love to meet the thieves – not for vengeance sake but to share the Gospel message with them and talk to them about Jesus!
God tells His followers to PUT OFF the old person we were before we turned from our sins, put our faith in Christ as Lord, and surrendered our lives to God and His ways. And He tells us to PUT ON the new person He created us to be.
Our human sinful nature will automatically revert to our old sinful behaviors every chance we get if we allow ourselves to go back into the muck and yuck and awfulness of sin. But the Holy Spirit of God who lives inside His followers will give us the LOVE, MERCY, HOPE, JOY, PEACE, STRENGTH, POWER, absolutely all we need, to PUT ON the new person we are in, through, and for Christ when we humble ourselves and surrender ourselves wholly to the Lord and His ways!
The Lord blessed me in three major ways. He showed me how He has lovingly, patiently, mercifully changed and grown me over time. The car place that had given me an offer to buy my car weeks before decided so graciously to make the same offer despite the missing expensive catalytic converter. And the Lord blessed me with opportunities to give out Gospel tracts and talk about Jesus to people at 4 car places and the police officers as I dealt with the aftermath of the theft. ALL TO THE GLORY OF CHRIST, AMEN!
Friend, let us continually PUT OFF our old sinful ways and PUT ON through the love, grace, mercy, strength and power of the Holy Spirit the blessed ways of God almighty, AMEN!
“that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.” Ephesians 4:22-24
“But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth. Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him… Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.” Colossians 3:8-15