Wednesday, January 2, 2013

New Skin to House a New Heart

By Brenda Black

Fiona Coote, at 14 years of age, became the youngest heart transplant recipient in Australia. Her true claim to fame: She received not just one heart transplant, but three! On three separate occasions, Fiona was granted another chance at life.

Some of us may not have that many opportunities, but we each have the choice at least once to stick with the old or opt for the new when it comes to attitude and heart.

"During the mighty movements of the Holy Spirit in the Moody-Sankey meetings in Dublin, the worldly father of C.T. Studd was gloriously saved. He invited some of his worldly companions to come to his home so that he could tell them the wonderful news. When one wealthy English sportsman arrived at the railway station he was met by the coachman. He could not wait till he got to the house to know what had happened to his old friend, so he began to question the coachman.
“'I hear that something remarkable has happened to your master. I hear he’s got religion. Please tell me about it. In what way is Mr. Studd changed?’
“'Oh,’ said the Irish coachman, 'It’s a revolution. In one sense he is still the same man--he’s in the same body. But the best way I can explain him is he’s a new man in the old skin.’
“The new creature receives a new set of appetites and a new set of attitudes. The babe in Christ has now a holy nature with a propensity toward holiness. The things he used to hate, now he loves and the things he used to love, now he hates." (James A. Stewart, Come O Breath!, published by Revival Literature, Asheville, NC 28816; pg. 83.)

How about you? It's a new year; are you ready for a new you? The bigger question is whether you have made it possible to become renewed or are letting old attitudes stop you.

“No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment, for the patch will pull away from the garment, making the tear worse. Neither do men pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burst, the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.” (Matthew 9:16-17)

Jesus taught his disciples that changing the mind made it possible for heart modifications. An acceptance for new worship, deeper faith and abundant joy hinged on a simple outlook – the willingness to let go of the old and try something different. We all get stuck in ruts. Our faith fizzles. Our enthusiasm dwindles. We need heart transplants! We need new go juice for a brand new year!

Throw off that threadbare garment void of purpose or comfort. Stop packing around an old wineskin that leaks every bit of flavor through the bottom corner. “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” (Romans 12:2a)

This new outfit; this new skin is a mindset of supple submission to the Holy Spirit. It stretches over every area of life and shields from demonic darts. It's the perfect place to house a new heart!

So where do we begin? At the heart of it of course. Look deep within what skin you are in. Search the heart that now beats and answer honestly whether it pounds out a rhythm of love and loyalty for God first and most. Take the test: Do you love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength? (Deuteronomy 6:5)

If you come to the conclusion it's time for an upgrade, then fix your eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of your faith. Commit to a new attitude that will welcome a heart transplant and not reject it. Get ready for renewed passion, energized faith, rejoicing and fruitful living!

A new year plus a new attitude plus a new heart, equals a new you! Before you resolve to change anything else, check the garment, check the skin, check the heart and ask Christ to live within.

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