Scripture

Ephesians 4:22-24

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; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

Reflection

The putting off of the old self and putting on the new is a process of refinement. God saves us by grace through faith and then sanctifies us. To be sanctified is to grow in holiness, becoming more and more like Jesus. There is no such thing as salvation without holiness, yet we can all act like children sometimes, wanting dessert before the meal. We want the rewards of the Kingdom of God without the necessary work.

We want to be pure without the painful process of becoming clean. We want to be sent by God without first surrendering everything to God. We want to see signs and wonders before staying faithful in the waiting. We want to speak prophetic words without repentance. We want to be heroes before being humble. We want to get to heaven before we become holy. We want to set our feet in the promised land before circling the land in prayer.

Where are you forsaking the means for the end? Where are you hoping for a desired outcome without working for it? How can you practice holiness today, the putting on of the new self? 

Prayer

When you are finished with your time of reflection, close out this time with this prayer. 

Oh God, hear the prayers and petitions of your servants. For Your sake, O Lord, look with favor on this dry and thirsty land. Give ear, O God, and hear; open your eyes and see the desolation of the city that bears your Name. We do not make requests of you because we are righteous, but because of Your great mercy. O Lord, listen! Oh Lord, forgive! O Lord, hear and act! For Your sake, O my God, do not delay, because your city and your people bear your name. (Daniel 9:17-19)