Daily encouragement

Video by

Tyler Davis

ACF Youth Culture Student Leader

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Ephesians 4:17-24

Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. But that is not the way you learned Christ! -assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, 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. (ESV)

Behind the Scenes

After a reminder of our new identity in Christ and the salvation we have been gifted, we hear a call to walk in purity through a renewed mind, to take off the old self and put on the new. Paul continues in the rest of Ephesians to offer a clear and practical image of how a believer with a such a renewed mind ought to act: don't lie, don't be consumed by anger, don't steal... etc.

But here in this passage, between the unity we have in our identity as the body of Christ and our new walk as "children of light" (Eph. 5:8), we are shown a precious key: We are called to be renewed in the spirit of our minds.

What does this mean? I understand moral guidelines for living, and I can announce that I'm saved by God's grace. But if that is the extent of my spiritual walk, does a walk so devoid of life really resemble being born again? I am called to more than just moral living as well as I can manage. I am called to a life defined by much more than an external label, more than simply a sticker on my chest that reads "Christian guy."

God wants me truly transformed. He has spoken into existence a life for me that I cannot fully attain without utter devotion and surrender to him, an abundant life firmly centered in love without reservation, boundless hope, and sublime beauty. Life more alive than merely animate flesh and blood, moving about in the futility and darkness of its own understanding, alienated from the life of God.

We are called to be renewed in the spirit of our minds, after God's own likeness in true righteousness and holiness. This is the work of God in our hearts: to call out to us the abundant life as we loosen our grasp on our covered ears and to patiently point our wandering eyes toward his truth and beauty that transforms our minds and beckons us to harmonize.

Make it Real

I knew a young child about 30 years ago who was painfully aware of his sin. In repentance, he wanted nothing more than to be a good boy, wanting love and hoping something within would somehow change. Many years later, new children came, giving him a new name “Daddy.” I saw God’s power use this name change radically, altering his path and awakening life, hope and love within him. I felt within him a softened heart and receptive spirit. Hands which were cast up in despair or apathy now were thrown up in faith to a God who gave real hope that something within could somehow change. Renewal has begun, God's promises do not fail, and he who began a good work in me will carry it out to completion.

I encourage you to place your mind and heart in the working hands of your Maker and allow his Word to mold you today. Consider memorizing Proverbs 3:5-6 as a great place to start.

End in Prayer

Thank you, Father, for your promise of new abundant life and the renewal of our minds. What a gift that you equip us so richly! Thank you that your love for us means we can enjoy the growth that you’re working in us. Thank you for giving us a taste in this world of a better life in you. Awaken our hearts to your call. Amen.

Written by

Jesse Dompier

ACF Devo Team