He is making all things new That means You

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Over a week ago we got a call from Convoy of Hope. They said we are looking for 5 churches to say yes to moving a load of USDA produce. Can you be one of the 5?
The load will show up next week and you have to be ready to unload it. You have an hour to decide. Do you want one?
I thought about it for a minute or two and said yes we will take one. I have been tracking this since the USDA said they would bail out farmers by buying 3 billion worth of produce. I wanted us to find this source. In a way that God does, this source found us and we said yes.
I shared this with our staff and they like they always do swung in to action to make this happen.
I share this because it amazes me that God uses us to spread his Kingdom and bring Glory to his name.
Doesn’t this just astound you?
Ephesians 2:1 and 2:3 accurately describes my life before Christ.
Ephesians 2:1 HCSB
1 And you were dead in your trespasses and sins
Ephesians 2:3 HCSB
3 We too all previously lived among them in our fleshly desires, carrying out the inclinations of our flesh and thoughts, and we were by nature children under wrath as the others were also.
I was dead in my trespasses and sins. God using Judgement to make all things right should punish me for my sin and trespasses for I was a child under wrath as verse 3 describes.
Here is the good news
Ephesians 2:4–5 HCSB
4 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love that He had for us, 5 made us alive with the Messiah even though we were dead in trespasses. You are saved by grace!
He made us alive with the Messiah because of His great love that he had for us.
We were dead in our sins and trespasses and God who is rich in mercy made us alive!
This astounds me that Christ would search a sinner like me out and make me alive with Christ Jesus. Jesus being God would come and die on the cross and take the penalty that I deserve. Jesus took my place and my sins as he died on the cross.
Jesus took the punishment that I deserved. Jesus did not deserve it or he was sinless. God who is rich in mercy died to make me new in Christ.
This is amazing truth.
Knowing this amazing truth, I often scratch my head when my flesh is tempted to return to the old way of living before Christ.
God has done this miraculous work in me and making all things new in me, but the flesh tempts me to return to the old life.
For example, I see this consistently rearing its ugly head is when it comes to raising teens and or dating.
I have heard things like...
Yeah but mom you and dad didn’t do that when dating or wait till marriage.
You missionary dated and it worked out well for you.
You didn’t follow God’s word and now you have mom so it worked out for you. Let me live my life and make my mistakes in the same way you made your mistakes.
The life of being dead in our trespasses and sin rears its ugly head.
The enemy Satan wants us to believe that the mistakes you made in sin are ok for generations after you to make the same mistakes
I am here to tell you that dog doesn’t hunt in scripture.

In Christ You are a New Creation

Ephesians 2:10 HCSB
10 For we are His creation, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time so that we should walk in them.
We are God’s masterpiece, artwork, poem created in Christ Jesus for good works that God prepared in advance for us to walk in.
2 Corinthians 5:17 HCSB
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away, and look, new things have come.
The moment you submit to the Lordship of Jesus Christ, scripture says at that moment the old passes away and new things come.
You are not who you were. You are not your past mistakes. You are not your old sins. You are no longer who the world told you that you should be.
You are a new creation; old things have passed away and new things have come.

We Live as a New Creation

Everything changes and Christ changes everything
Joshua 2:1 HCSB
1 Joshua son of Nun secretly sent two men as spies from the Acacia Grove, saying, “Go and scout the land, especially Jericho.” So they left, and they came to the house of a woman, a prostitute named Rahab, and stayed there.
Set up the passage by telling the History of Israel (Look up and tell it like they have never heard it before)
Talk about Rahab’s label (There are children present)
Joshua 2:2–3 HCSB
2 The king of Jericho was told, “Look, some of the Israelite men have come here tonight to investigate the land.” 3 Then the king of Jericho sent word to Rahab and said, “Bring out the men who came to you and entered your house, for they came to investigate the entire land.”
Perhaps Rahab had been a common spot for people to stop. The king of Jericho assumes that Rahab will be loyal to him and demands that she has the men come out.

Rahab’s changed life

Joshua 2:4–7 HCSB
4 But the woman had taken the two men and hidden them. So she said, “Yes, the men did come to me, but I didn’t know where they were from. 5 At nightfall, when the gate was about to close, the men went out, and I don’t know where they were going. Chase after them quickly, and you can catch up with them!” 6 But she had taken them up to the roof and hidden them among the stalks of flax that she had arranged on the roof. 7 The men pursued them along the road to the fords of the Jordan, and as soon as they left to pursue them, the gate was shut.
Rahab protects the men of God.
Joshua 2:8–10 HCSB
8 Before the men fell asleep, she went up on the roof 9 and said to them, “I know that the Lord has given you this land and that the terror of you has fallen on us, and everyone who lives in the land is panicking because of you. 10 For we have heard how the Lord dried up the waters of the Red Sea before you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to Sihon and Og, the two Amorite kings you completely destroyed across the Jordan.
Rahab knew what the Lord had done for the Israelites. It is essential that we tell the story of God to our children and what God is doing in our lives.
Don’t let it be true that our children know more about life before Christ in your life or sinful days than they know about the work that Christ has done in you.
Joshua 2:11–14 HCSB
11 When we heard this, we lost heart, and everyone’s courage failed because of you, for the Lord your God is God in heaven above and on earth below. 12 Now please swear to me by the Lord that you will also show kindness to my family, because I showed kindness to you. Give me a sure sign 13 that you will spare the lives of my father, mother, brothers, sisters, and all who belong to them, and save us from death.” 14 The men answered her, “We will give our lives for yours. If you don’t report our mission, we will show kindness and faithfulness to you when the Lord gives us the land.”
Rahab encounters the Lord and knows that the Lord is leading the Israelites. She had heard all the Lord has done for them.
She says for the Lord your God is God in the heaven and Earth below.
Rahab believes. As Rahab the prostitute believes
2 Corinthians 5:17 HCSB
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away, and look, new things have come.
The new creation has come for Rahab and the old has passed away.
Because Rahab in a new creation she does things differently than her old way of life.
Rahab used her body for profit in a negative way as her old way of life. Here she uses all of her resources for the Glory of God in the new way of life.
I like to ask myself the question
What if Rahab had functioned in the old way of life and not in the new creation?
She probably would have tried to take all of the Israelites money or even sold them to the King of Jericho for profit.
She might have told the King of Jericho that she would give the men to him if he would give her money for them.
She might have tried to seduce them for information. She might have devalued herself and the men of Israel. She might have reduced everything down to the present here and now and that life is nothing more than our current physical existence.
This is our temptation. We are tempted to parent according to our life before Christ or before we knew the truth of the word of God.
Not just parenting, We are tempted to give others advice according to our old way of life.
Think about the logic of this. We are a new creation in Christ but yet our children want to make the mistakes we made. We are often tempted because of our bad choices to let this happen.
This dog doesn’t hunt. I was thinking about teaching my kids to drive. I have been driving 21 years now.
What if I was to teach my kids only what I knew when I first started driving?
For the longest time, I was the youngest. Being the youngest that means you get to experience the drivers Ed of your older siblings and at times you get to be the test dummy.
Jinger got in the ditch and I yelled that she spilled my ice ream (tell the story)
What if I only taught my kids about how not to spill ice cream while driving.
In many areas of life, we would never think about teaching our children or those around us according to the way we once lived.
There are so many examples you could give. When I first started cooking…
If you are in Christ, then you are a new Creation and the old has gone and the new has come.
Our children seek to justify their current choices by your old way of living

You are not the standard

Ephesians 4:17–24 HCSB
17 Therefore, I say this and testify in the Lord: You should no longer walk as the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their thoughts. 18 They are darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them and because of the hardness of their hearts. 19 They became callous and gave themselves over to promiscuity for the practice of every kind of impurity with a desire for more and more. 20 But that is not how you learned about the Messiah, 21 assuming you heard about Him and were taught by Him, because the truth is in Jesus. 22 You took off your former way of life, the old self that is corrupted by deceitful desires; 23 you are being renewed in the spirit of your minds; 24 you put on the new self, the one created according to God’s likeness in righteousness and purity of the truth.
The one created according to God’s likeness in righteousness and purity of truth.
God is the standard. According to his likeness in righteousness and purity of truth.
Righteousness: it is what is right.
God is the standard.
Children, students, and adults. Your parents are not the standard, your youth pastor is not the standard, you pastor is not the standard, your grandparents are not the standard.
We are being renewed by the spirit of your mind and putting on the new self according to God’s likeness in righteousness and purity of truth.
Rahab functions according to the new self and not the old. What’s the result
Joshua 6:22–25 HCSB
22 Joshua said to the two men who had scouted the land, “Go to the prostitute’s house and bring the woman out of there, and all who are with her, just as you promised her.” 23 So the young men who had scouted went in and brought out Rahab and her father, mother, brothers, and all who belonged to her. They brought out her whole family and settled them outside the camp of Israel. 24 They burned up the city and everything in it, but they put the silver and gold and the articles of bronze and iron into the treasury of the Lord’s house. 25 However, Joshua spared Rahab the prostitute, her father’s household, and all who belonged to her, because she hid the men Joshua had sent to spy on Jericho, and she lives in Israel to this day.
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