And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.
In With the New
Some educators have said that the key to adult learning is “unlearning.” All too often, learning a new skill is made more difficult later in life because of one’s previous experience. Then it becomes necessary to first unlearn earlier habits and practices in order to make room for the new.
When the Lord calls us sinners to repentance, he demands that we turn away from the sinful attitudes and behaviors that had separated us from him. His law shows us the disastrous end of our disobedience and convinces us that the path we were on only leads to death. The Lord’s goal is not our eternal humiliation but that in humble faith, we might turn to him and live. He points us to Christ Jesus, his Son, whose sacrifice canceled our debt and whose righteousness is credited as our own.
Where once there was nothing but barren, unfertile ground, now a bountiful garden grows. Our hearts have been nourished by the love of God, in Christ. They have been watered by his promises of free forgiveness, and a new and holy life has begun in us as a result. The Holy Spirit continues to cultivate these new attitudes through the Word so that they might produce “the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.”
Lord, you have come to me with your Word to bring me to repentance. Turn my heart away from sin and everything that would turn me away from you. Replace my selfish habits with new attitudes of selflessness, love, and compassion for others. Let Christ’s love for all inspire me to live for him and others, so that my whole life may bring glory to your name. Amen.