Devotion for January 3
By byFaith Staff

You…were taught in him … to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt … and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness (Eph. 4:20-24).

Oak tree leaves flapping in the cold winter wind are a sign of their obstinate nature. After other trees have shed their leaves for winter, an oak tree will keep the brown, shriveled leaves of its former life all winter. 

Only when the warmth of spring activates latent life in the oak tree do new leaves grow, pushing off the old. New life replaces the old that has hung on.

We spiritually grow in a similar way. As the Holy Spirit stirs new life in us, we respond with new habits of speech and conduct in how we relate to others. The new life is already in us; the ability to grow is already present. But we do not mature if we hang onto features of a past life. 

As we use the power of the Spirit to replace old ways of life, new life matures. We grow in grace, thriving in new ways of relating to others by pushing out old habits and patterns. 

We never want to conclude that new life is impossible; the Spirit in believers is already sending spiritual power through us. Our responsibility and privilege is to act on the grace already present, cultivating new growth by expressing the new life that pushes out the remnants of what is already dead.

Father, you have made me alive in Christ. Help me to live with new power you have given, pushing out dead remnants of the past with new patterns of speech and life. 

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