Thursday, December 19, 2013

Life reno

TODAY'S SPECIAL: Titus 3:1-15

TO CHEW ON: "Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit." Titus 3:5

I like to watch home renovation shows on TV. I'm always amazed by the reveal, especially if the show included scenes of how the rooms looked as the work progressed.

Renovation is one meaning of the word renewing (anakainosis - #342) Paul uses to describe the work of the Holy Spirit in us — along with restoration, and "complete change for the better."

Bible writers mention renewal in other places.

  • One of the most intriguing is Samuel's promise to Saul after Samuel anointed him king of Israel: "Then the Spirit of the Lord will come upon you and you will prophesy with them and be turned into another man" (1 Samuel 10:6). It seems that God's empowering of Saul for his new job included an instantaneous renovation.
  • David asked God for a clean heart and renewed spirit after Nathan confronted him with the Bathsheba fiasco (Psalm 51:10).
  • Renewed strength comes, Isaiah promises, by waiting on the Lord (Isaiah 40:31).
  • Such renovation can involve the renewal of our minds (Romans 12:2; Ephesians 4:23) and our whole inner persons (2 Corinthians 4:16).
  • The final result of this renewal will be a reveal of people who resemble Jesus: "...and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him" (Colossians 3:10).

Picture your life as a house. Does it need a renovation? Does it need to be cleared of clutter—stuff that you're hanging onto from the past like old grudges, bitter memories, unforgiveness? Does it need walls knocked out to let in more light and improve the traffic flow—walls of prejudice, perhaps, or hurt? Does it need a new coat of paint in the colours of joy, hope, peace, and love, applied as you read God's word and take it to heart? Don't let the messiness of your inner renovation discourage you. The Holy Spirit is good at renovations. The reveal will show a life that reminds people of Jesus.

PRAYER: Dear Holy Spirit, help me to cooperate with Your renovation, restoration and transformation work in my life. Amen.

MORE: House reno tips

Kelvin Browne lists and expands on "The Five Biggest Reno Mistakes" in a National Post article reprinted on hgtv.ca. His article is full of good common sense  about some of the pitfalls of house renos. His points also remind me of parallels in the spiritual realm. Can you think of more?

1. Not appreciating a house has a unique DNA and when you renovate, you must respond to it. (God doesn't make that mistake: see Psalm 139.)

2. Believing that good, big windows don't matter is a mistake. (Light: God is big on that! See John 8:12 and 2 Corinthians 4:6).

3a. You renovate too much. (I don't know if that's possible spiritually because the renovation needs to be complete: Romans 7:18).

3b. A related mistake is when renovations are uneven .... In other words, you renovate too much in one place and not enough in another. (God's renovations are always deep and thorough: Ezekiel 11:19).

4. You have no idea why you're renovating. (Spiritually, the need for renovation is painfully apparent: Romans 7:18-25)

5. Not enjoying the process of renovation. (We can enjoy the newness—even as we're still in process: 2 Corinthians 5:17).



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