Welcome to Redeem the Commute. I’m Ryan, your host for this daily challenge. It’s Thursday, the day we try to apply and live out what we’ve learned this week from the Bible. This week we’ve been studying the transformation that is supposed to be part of a Christian life.
We all have experience with rebellion from God, called sin. Our sin would be a barrier to us ever truly repenting and walking in a new way, but in dying on the cross for us, Jesus has taken away sin and death’s power. We are free now to walk in a new way, God’s way, in the power of his Spirit, because of Christ’s gift of raising us to new life. This gift from God is grace, and is as simple as hearing it, turning around, and walking in Jesus’ way instead. Repentance. This is great news – it means that no matter where you’re coming from, however you’ve rebelled against God in the past, however far you’ve been from him, it’s past. What matters is repentance – whether you go in God’s new direction today, and that journey is what transforms lives to look more like Jesus.
And likewise, no matter how close you’ve been to God, how religious, how good, how moral…what matters is whether you go in Jesus’ direction today and tomorrow, and don’t rely on yesterday only to fall into pride, religious arrogance, or any other kind of sin where the Spirit would be urging you to repent yourself.
Whenever repentance became part of your life, what’s important is that it still is today…every day.
Repentance is not something we do alone. It is an act of God, by God’s grace, that we could never effect on our own. And it is not a one-time event, but a daily, sometimes hourly decision to hear the Spirit of Jesus calling us away from danger, and to follow him, in the face of great temptation. Why we don’t practice it alone, but in the company of followers of Jesus even more diverse than Paul described, all singing the same song to keep time as we march together in Jesus’ direction. What we call the church…and how Paul describes it here, with musical words.
We may all come from all different directions, races, nations and more, but what binds us together is we heard God’s Spirit calling – turn around! And are there to help one another continue moving in that same direction, continue following Jesus, whatever temptations might try to turn us around or to scatter again.
Wherever you are on this journey – Wherever you’ve been, wherever you are today, what matters is what direction you’re going today. I urge you, listen to his voice, and if you’re walking the other way, turn around, and then take that first step in a new direction, with Jesus one step ahead.
Challenge: Think about your actions so far this week. On a paper or in your phone, divide them into two sections. The old self and the new self. Which actions do you need to “take off” like old clothes, and which do you need to “put on” like Christ?