Put Off the Old plus Update
November 17, 2008 • By Ed Wrather
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. - 2 Corinthians 5:17.
...if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: 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 4:21-24.
In the United States a new President and his family will soon move into the official residence for the President, the White House. The White House has a two hundred year history but except for the outer walls, the layout of the rooms, and some furnishings inside the building; things have changed from what they were two hundred years ago.
Harry Truman while president of the United States in 1948 made a shocking discovery of the condition of the White House. When the honor guard marched him to a state dinner the crystal chandelier in his study swayed. When the butler walked in with breakfast Truman could feel the whole floor wobble. He called for engineers to examine the structure. The chief engineer reported the ceiling in the state dining room was only staying up from force of habit. Truman made a tough decision. He had the entire inside of the White House gutted. It was all torn out and rebuilt with only the shell remaining. When it was rebuilt it was with a steel framework which makes it as strong as any modern building.
There are many of us who wonder about the history that must have been lost in such a drastic reconstruction. Many were attached to the well worn floors with the smells of decades of momentous occasions. In much the same way we grow attached to our old lives, our old sins, our old circumstances, and habits. So when we are born again (John 3:3), becoming a new creature in Christ with old things passing away and all things becoming new (2 Corinthians 5:17) it is a drastic change! Our old lives have been gutted and a complete reconstruction has taken place.
We still have choices after becoming a new creature in Christ. Truman as President of the United States could have chosen not to live in the White House after the reconstruction was completed. He could have lived in a tent on the grounds but that would have been foolish. It would be foolish for us as well to live as we used to live when we don’t have to any more. Paul in verse 22 says to put off all that old stuff and to begin to live as the new person that we are. In verses 25 through 32 he gives very specific ways of putting off the old and putting on the new. Paul finishes by saying in verse 32, “And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.”
Have you been living in a tent? Why not get out of there and try out the new place!
Update from the Wrather family:
For those who have not heard, our son Nick has lost the sight in one eye because of a detached retina and will be having surgery tomorrow to stabilize it so that it will not have to be removed. Since the detachment occurred many months ago it will not be possible to restore his sight in that eye.
After we found out about this we decided that we would go ahead and take a trip to Branson, Missouri that we had planned for later. Nick is mentally handicapped with Down Syndrome and he has been a fan of the Oakridge Boys since he was a little boy (He is 30 now.). We thought it would take all of our minds off of what had happened and the surgery and I think that it did do that.
The eye surgeon told us when he said that Nick would not have sight in that eye that it was "Unfortunate." While listening to the Oakridge Boys they sang a song from their Christmas album. In the song a family has some bad things happen to them and repeatedly they say it was “Unfortunate", "Inconvenient", and then they say, "The most inconvenient Christmas ever was, Was the first one, when God came so far, To give himself to us, So when stress hits each December, How it helps me to remember God is with us most when things just can't get worse, The most inconvenient Christmas ever was… was the first."
It spoke to my heart and to Jeanie's. I think we know why we needed to take the trip as we found God touching our hearts once again at a critical time in our lives.
The devotional has been written and sent on an infrequent basis for some time. My goal for the devotional is for it to be sent five times per week and hopefully the goal will eventually be reached on a continuous basis.
Thank you for your support, understanding, and prayers!