New Creation — January 18, 2014 (Saturday)

Today’s Verses:

2 Corinthians 5:14-17 (NASB)

For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died; and He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf.

Therefore from now on we recognize no one according to the flesh; even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him in this way no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.

The word “new” in this passage, each time it appears is the Greek word “kainos,” meaning “unprecedented,” “unheard of,” or “of a new kind.”

Today’s Questions:

What does it mean to live not for yourself, but for Christ?

What old things have passed away in your life since you have been following Jesus?

What new, or unprecedented, things have come into your life now that you are following Jesus?

What do you think it means to know someone else as a new creation instead of according to the flesh?

Today’s Prayer:

Oh, Father, I pray that these words from Paul’s letter would sink deeply into my soul, that they would be my anthem, my reason, my way of being. I pray for your eyes as I come to know those around me. How often I look at others with judgment and irritation, or without compassion. I pray that you would draw me close so that I live in you, through you, out of my connection to you. I pray, Lord, that I look different than the world, that Christ is manifest in me as I move through my days. Whatever looks different than Christ, Lord, change it, I surrender to your shaping, healing hands.

Go A Little Deeper:

Review Revelation 21:1-5 to see the parallels with this 2 Corinthians passage.

Life This Week


In January 2003, I went to San Diego for the first time. I could not believe such a place existed – perfect temperatures, beautiful beaches, breathtaking sunsets. I thought it might be a good place to bring my daughter for a little vacation in the Spring, so I asked a woman working at the front desk of the hotel what it was like there in May. She barely looked up at me from what she was working on in front of her, and with extreme annoyance said, “It’s the same, ma’am.” I refrained from responding, “The same as in absolutely perfect in every way?” I am, like the woman in San Diego, incredibly skilled at taking things for granted. Surround me with beautiful things and before long, I lose my ability to see them. I take pictures as a way of putting on new eyes and intentionally opening to the beauty all around.

This weekend I spent some time in Michigan and was overwhelmed by the beauty all around. There were majestic, eye-catching things like the sunset…


And the angry waves pushing violently toward me on the rocky beach…


But there were also small beauties. Water droplets on a yellowing leaf…


The glint of the sun on a ripening apple…


Two hands, a mother’s and a daughter’s, holding abundance…


A single rose among weeds…


And a moment when you see that time has indeed passed…


This week,

I’m praying for eyes that see the beauty. As soon as Monday gets rolling, I can tend to become like the woman at the front desk of that hotel in San Diego. But, I don’t want to miss a single thing, let me see all the beauty my soul can take!

I’m meditating on 1 Corinthians 10:1-10. I am not the first to take something for granted. There is a long history of us humans doing this. In the Message version of this passage, one verse says “But just experiencing God’s wonder and grace didn’t seem to mean much – most of them were defeated by temptation during the hard times in the desert, and God was not pleased.” Am I fully experiencing God’s wonder and grace?

I’m thanking God for his majestic displays and the smallest beauties. Sometimes beauty is inescapable – full harvest moons that draw your eyes and catch your breath or red sunsets that must be a reflection of heaven. Sometimes, though, beauty is smaller and less obvious. Oh, that I would see both and thank God for every single beautiful thing he puts on my path.

What does your week look like?

Do you notice the beauty around you?