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January 16, 2017

Forty Days to Flourish: Day 8

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come.” 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NIV)

This was one of the first verses I memorized as a Christ follower when I began my journey of faith. It’s filled with hope and promise for a new beginning! You and I can begin again! We don’t have to remain as we are. This is the miracle of redemption! Redemption offers transformative power to become all that God wants us to be in Christ. Becoming a Christian is a decision followed by a process, and 2 Corinthians 5:17 describes that process of transformation.

As you meditate on this passage, you will want to:

1. Read it. – Think about the verse as you read it.

2. Recite it. – Read it out loud a number of times, giving emphasis to different words in the passage.

3. Remember it. – Commit the passage to memory so that you don’t even have to look at it.

4. Reflect it. – Let the passage sink from your head to your heart and begin to find expression in your life with everything that you do, say and think. Mull it over throughout your day at work and at home. Look for the practical ways this verse applies to your circumstances.

When you read it, you’ll notice that all the promise and hope of this passage for a new beginning depends on one simple word – “if….” Experiencing the power of God to change our lives is a choice we must respond to in faith. It’s not automatic. We don’t earn or merit His favor by going to church or trying our best. We must be “in Christ….” Only Christ can bring the change we need from the inside out. The word “if” implies that there are two categories of people – those who are in Christ and those who are not. To be in Christ is to have responded to the invitation of a gracious and loving God. John’s Gospel puts it like this:

“But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name.” John 1:12 (NKJV)

This means that the moment you receive Christ as your personal Savior, believing that He died for your sins and acknowledging Him as your Lord, God places you by faith in Christ! You are forgiven and made clean! You are declared right with God! The old has gone; the new has come! This will never occur until you’ve responded to that simple word “if”. If you haven’t made that choice yet, you can right now! Let this be the first day of the rest of your new life!

Yes, Lord, today I receive Your free gift of salvation and ask You to forgive me of my sin. I invite You into my heart and life to take control. I want to follow You. Thank you for forgiving me and placing me in Christ!