Self-focus or Christ-focus? (3)
God expects us to work on growth and self-improvement, but just as examining ourselves too much is unproductive, so is trying to change if it keeps us self-focused and defeated. The Bible’s path to change is to turn away from self and focus on Christ. Paul wrote: ‘We all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit’ (2 Corinthians 3:18 NIV). God wants to transform our characters. All the self-improvement strategies we could try by ourselves can’t transform our old natures. Only God, ‘by the Spirit’, can change our characters and make us more Christlike. As we ‘contemplate the Lord’s glory’ by spending time with Him and reading His Word, we become ‘transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory’ – in other words, little by little, we become more like Him. It doesn’t matter how determined we are to change our nature, if we haven’t involved God, it won’t happen. We need His grace for lasting change. Paul wrote: ‘Throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception.’ No altering, adjusting, or patching-up – we must ‘throw it off’ completely, and accept the new nature and new way of living that God has for us. As we focus on Christ and draw closer to Him, we’re released from the hold of our old nature and grow into our new one. We’re transformed – from the inside out.
Make a decision today to completely throw off your old nature and tell God that you want and accept your new nature from Him. Thank Him for His grace and His transforming power.
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