… and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness. Ephesians 4:23-24
A popular television program features women who receive a fashion makeover. A haircut, cosmetic tips, and a new wardrobe produce dramatic changes. But surprisingly, the recipients are most vocal about the internal changes: attitude, confidence, self-esteem. Christians sometimes forget they have been given a spiritual makeover. When Christ gave His life on the cross to redeem us, our old self died with Him.
Although our salvation is now assured, we often live with the old clothing of guilt, shame, and fear. We attempt to camouflage ourselves with perfection and good works in order to earn God’s mercy. We are living with old messages that cheapen the gift of grace. The apostle Paul encourages us to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God … (Ephesians 4:24). Because of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross we have been transformed. We wear His robes of righteousness and holiness. We are never the same after the Master’s makeover!
Dear Lord, our Protector, You invite to come to you in all things. Today we ask that you spare people in our community, our country and around the world from harm to both body and soul. Grant healing and strength to those who have been afflicted with the coronavirus or other sicknesses. Be with care providers, giving them wisdom and guarding them from danger. Grant wisdom to our local and national leaders as they make decisions on behalf the citizenry. Calm fear of the unknown and grant us, through your Word, strong faith and trust in your promises. Give us confidence in your care, even as you have shown us your faithfulness so many times, especially in the saving work of Jesus. And finally, help us to be alert for opportunities to witness to your grace and share with others the confidence we have through the good news of our Savior.
Grow in Grace – Lord Jesus, our Good Shepherd, we thank you for providing pastors to shepherd the congregations of our synod. Bless our efforts to provide continuing education, mentorship, and ministry resources to pastors through the Grow in Grace institute of Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary. Use the program to strengthen faith, encourage the discouraged, and inspire dedicated service to you. Provide the leaders of Grow in Grace with wisdom and bless them with the means necessary to ensure the program benefits everyone involved. Amen.