“Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature.  Old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”

II Corinthians 5:17

From God’s perspective, it’s an accomplished fact; from our perspective, it’s an ongoing process.

How difficult today’s Manna is to digest—partly because of our difficulty in understanding it and partly because of our reluctance to let go of the “old” and embrace the “new.”

Intellectually, we can grasp what it means to be “in Christ.”  We can read Christ’s words in Jn. 15:1-7 and understand the imagery of the “Vine and the branches” and their vital connection.  Likewise, we can understand Christ’s accomplished act on the Cross when He cried “It is finished” and how (judicially) we are pardoned, not paroled, by being “justified by His Blood” (Rom. 5:6-11).

Yet, it is this second part about “old things are passed away and all things have become new” that distresses us.  We walk the aisle, make our public confession of faith, are baptized and join a church.  We even enroll in Sunday School, start tithing and possibly visit the hospitalized and unchurched.

But, when we look in the mirror, we still look the same.

And, when we do an honest “reality check,” i.e., a true appraisal or assessment of our thinking, talking and walking, we realize the “old” hasn’t vanished and all things haven’t “become new.”

Somehow, it seems, we’ve missed something somewhere in this process of sanctification of “being made holy” and “transformed into the image of Christ” (Rom. 12:2).

That’s why it’s important for us to step back, take a deep breath, close our eyes and “be still and know that He is God” (Ps. 46:10); otherwise, discouragement and despair will soon set in as the reality of “what we’re not” is what we see rather than “what we shall be” (I Jn. 3:2).

Oh, dear Pilgrim, there are none of us. . .no matter how much we read the Bible or pray. . .no matter how often we go to church, study the Word and pray. . .who’ll ever “arrive” spiritually in this life.  The Apostle Paul didn’t (Rom. 7:7-24; Phil. 3:12).  The Apostle Peter didn’t.  The Apostle John didn’t.  And, none of the saints listed in “The Heroes’ Hall of Faith” did during their time here on earth (Heb. 11:32-40).

But, that didn’t keep them from “forgetting that which is behind, reach forth unto those things which are before and pressing toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 3:13-14).  And, neither should it keep us from doing the same.

What “old things” in your life (attitude, words, habits, etc.) are still ever-present and dominant in your life and haven’t been “crucified with Christ” (Gal. 2:20)?  Ask the Lord Jesus even now to help you surrender those areas to Him and then trust the Holy Spirit to help you “pull down those strongholds” (II Cor. 10:3-5).  It may take a while for them to fall down, but victory is assured if you will keep “looking unto Jesus” (Heb. 12:2).  Today’s your day.

By Tom Smith Morning Manna Dated August 13, 2010

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