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Tuesday, June 28, 2016
Leaving the Past Behind - Our Daily Bread Ministries daily devotional 28 June Tuesday
Chris Baker is a tattoo artist who transforms symbols of pain and enslavement into works of art. Many of his clients are former gang members and victims of human trafficking who have been marked with identifying names, symbols, or codes. Chris transforms these into beautiful art by tattooing over them with new images.
Jesus does for the soul what Chris Baker does for the skin—He takes us as we are and transforms us. The Bible says, “Anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” (2 Cor. 5:17 nlt). Before knowing Christ, we follow our desires wherever they lead us, and our lifestyles reflect this. When we repent and begin to walk with Christ, the passions and pitfalls that once dominated our lives are the “old life” (1 Cor. 6:9–11) that fades away as we are transformed. “All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ” (2 Cor. 5:18).
Still, life as a “new person” isn’t always easy. It can take time to disconnect from old habits. We may struggle with ideas that were foundational to our old way of life. Yet over time, God’s Holy Spirit works in us, giving us inner strength and an understanding of Christ’s love. As God’s beautiful new creations, we’re free to leave the past behind.
Jesus, thank You for the power of Your death and resurrection. Your victory over sin means that I can be forgiven and can enjoy a new life in You.
To enjoy the future, accept God’s forgiveness for the past.
Second Corinthians likely arrived around ad 56 and is probably the fourth letter Paul sent to the church of Corinth. Many scholars believe the apostle wrote a letter prior to the New Testament letter of 1 Corinthians (see 1 Cor. 5:9) and that Titus delivered a third letter—one containing a severe reprimand—about a year after sending 1 Corinthians and before the New Testament letter of 2 Corinthians (see 2 Cor. 2:3–4).