Read Ephesians 4:22-24
22 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. (NIV)
Imagine inviting an expert builder into your home and asking him to advise on what needs to be done. You might be thinking of a bit of tidying up, a few modifications here and there. He tells you that a complete renovation is what you need.
Which is a bit like what happens when we invite Jesus to rule our lives. We know there is a bit of housecleaning to do—we are far from perfect. We perhaps ask him to do the equivalent of patching up the kitchen while leaving the living room as it is. Or putting on a spare room and not changing the rest of the house.
When Jesus enters our lives he wants to do a thorough job of renewal. He will not be content to do a bit of tidying up: he wants to clean it all up. And of course we resist. Too much work, too much inconvenience, too much risk. And so we keep him at arm’s length, content with a few cosmetic changes but nothing too drastic.
In the words of C. S. Lewis, we are wanting Jesus to make us a rather pretty little cottage whereas he wants to make us a palace where he plans to live. We may want to be merely nice people. He wants us to be new people.
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