“For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God.” Colossians 3:3 (NLT)
What does dying to this life mean? I can’t talk like I used to? I have to control my anger? I can’t gossip? Is following Jesus about all the “can’t”?
Honey and fruit, nutrition and beauty flourish in the new life hidden in Jesus.Tweet
Life Apart from Jesus
My friend, living a life apart from Jesus is like a cold winter. It snows, and we delight in the beauty of the white snow. But we must dig that snow out of our driveways and carefully drive to the store, to our jobs, to school, and more. The snow turns black and slushy like our lives. The mud of this world clings to our shoes and some of it sneaks into our homes. We wipe it up, but the next day, we go out into the world and more mud sticks to us.
The Good News
One day, we hear the Good News.
We learn that God created a world that was pure, a world that was beautiful and perfect. He placed a man and woman, Adam and Eve, in a beautiful garden, the Garden of Eden. There, God walked with Adam and Eve in the garden.
They had one rule to keep: do not eat of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.
Satan told Eve that if she ate the fruit, she would be like God. She believed him and took a bite. She gave the fruit to Adam, and he ate it.
You and I would have eaten, too. We would have also disobeyed God.
At that moment, sin entered the world and evil ruled.
God is holy and pure. Evil may not live with Him, Psalm 5:4. Adam and Eve could no longer live in the Garden of Eden for their own protection. If they ate from the Tree of Life, they would always live in their sinful state.
Their sin separated them from God, just as our sins separate us from God, Isaiah 59:2. The ultimate separation is death and living forever away from God, hell.
But God loved Adam and Eve, and He loves you and me. Since life is in the blood, the blood of a perfect animal was necessary to cover their sin. God made the first sacrifice and clothed Adam and Eve with the skins of the sacrifice, Genesis 3:21. But this only covered their sins.
God promised that one day, a Savior would take away sin and restore their relationship with Him, Genesis 3:15.
Centuries later, that day came. God sent His only begotten Son, Jesus, into the world, John 3:16. He walked and talked with many. He taught the people, healed all who came to Him, raised the dead, and commanded the sea and wind. Finally, He paid the price that you and I owe for our sins.
Jesus took your sins and my sins upon Himself on the cross, as the wrath of God dealt with our sins. Jesus gave up His life on that cross for you and me. He was buried in a borrowed tomb.
Jesus died and rose from death so that you and I can have new life in Him.Tweet
Once we accept Jesus as our Savior, we are born again. Our old life has passed away, and we have a new life, 2 Corinthians 5:17. Our life blossoms with a beauty that we have never seen before.
Once you have accepted Jesus as your Savior, the Holy Spirit, the third Person of our Triune God (God the Father, God the Savior [Jesus], and God the Holy Spirit) comes to live inside you to comfort you, guide you, and help you, John 14:16.
A New Life Blossoms
Have you seen an almond blossom? It’s one of the first blossoms to appear in California. The blossoms beckon to the honey bees, “Come, delight in my pollen and nectar, produce sweet honey, and bless the world.” In return, the bees pollinate the blossoms.
Sweet honey from the new life. That is what is happening in your new life as a Christian.
Delight in the sweetness of an enriched life in Jesus.Tweet
Soon, the blossom petals fall and buds form. You’re beginning to walk closer with Jesus.
Greed, anger, lust, and other worldly desires aren’t as attractive to you, and you begin to change.
“You used to do these things when your life was still part of this world.”
Colossians 3:7 (NLT)
You cling to Jesus as the buds cling to the tree branches, the buds form hulls, shells, and tiny almonds.
The Christian walk is a process much like the life cycle of an almond. The Apostle John wrote to Christians calling them “my little children,” “young men,” and “fathers” in 1 John.
Growing in Christ is like the different stages of life.Tweet
From little children, we progress to teenagers in Christ. We learn about Him through reading His love letter to us, the Bible. We begin to talk with Him. He provides for us and protects us. God sends people to us when we need help. We begin to recognize that we are changing and that God is working in us.
Our outer hull begins to open. The Holy Spirit is transforming us.
God’s little children know that the Father is in them, 1 John 2:13.
The hull is eventually stripped away, and the almond’s hard shell protects the heart of the fruit. We’re strong in Christ as the shell protects the fruit of the almond.
The hardness that protects the fruit as we grow in the Lord and become stronger is cracked, and we are ready to provide others with the protein and nourishment that the Holy Spirit has grown within our hearts.
Throughout the growing season, our Heavenly Father lovingly takes us by our hands and leads us in the path that He has chosen for us.
You make known to me the path of life;
in Your presence there is fullness of joy;
at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore. Psalm 16:11
The Christian walk is THE adventure of eternity. An adventure based on the Good News.Tweet
We take the hand of God and walk through valleys and up mountaintops. We marvel at sunrises and sunsets. We gasp at the transformed lives and the friendships that form. We delight in the presence of God, the gift of speaking with Him, and answered prayer. We approach His throne of grace, bow in worship, and whisper, “Abba,” “Daddy.”
Our Father in Heaven, we adore You and worship You. You are Lord of our lives. There is no God like You. Holy, Holy, Holy are You, Lord God Almighty. Thank You for loving us and providing a way to become Your children. We have sinned against You. We turn from our sins and turn to You. Forgive us, Father. Have Your way with us, and transform us. Thank You for Jesus’ Perfect Sacrifice that took away our sin and conquered death forever. Thank You for sending the Holy Spirit to transform and renew us into the people You planned for us to be. In Jesus’ name, we pray, amen.