“Because of this decision we don’t evaluate people by what they have or how they look. We looked at the Messiah that way once and got it all wrong, as you know. We certainly don’t look at him that way anymore. Now we look inside, and what we see is that anyone united with the Messiah gets a fresh start, is created new. The old life is gone; a new life burgeons! Look at it! All this comes from the God who settled the relationship between us and him, and then called us to settle our relationships with each other. God put the world square with himself through the Messiah, giving the world a fresh start by offering forgiveness of sins. God has given us the task of telling everyone what he is doing. We’re Christ’s representatives. God uses us to persuade men and women to drop their differences and enter into God’s work of making things right between them. We’re speaking for Christ himself now: Become friends with God; he’s already a friend with you.” — 2 Corinthians 5:16-20 MSG

My Prayer

Jesus, I am so grateful that my identity and worth is based in You—and not in anything else. This year, please help me to fix my mind on You alone. Reveal to me the areas of my life that need to change, and then please transform those areas. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

My Thoughts

The verse, 5:17, is one I have memorized from back when I was a kid. It starts with “Therefore…” which I was taught means we need to ask, “What’s it there for?” That’s why I thought it beneficial to use The Message version which includes a little before and a little after 5:17.

As many of us think about the “new” year today, and new resolutions which are usually centered on changing behaviors that have led us to where we are, which is not necessarily where we really want to be, this verse serves as a reminder that real change—the kind that matters and the kind that goes beyond ourselves—only comes from Jesus. And it’s the kind of change that is complete, starting on the inside and working its way outside with the power and potential to affect everyone and everything. If the old person is remade into something new, something Christ-like, and the words and actions imitate Him, how much better would this world be?

So I resolve to live the truth of this verse this year. I resolve to meditate on His Word, His words, and trust that He will continue to make me new; more like Him.

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