We are in the midst of the renewal of splendor in God’s creation.  This is a process we witness each year.  As spring passes, we see the rejuvenation of trees and plants, perhaps even the frolicking of creatures not seen since the first snowfall.  As we reflect on this process let’s look beyond what we see as ordinary and mundane.  The seasons that God has put into place are a reminder that we live in a temporal existence and that things live, they whither away and die.  Both, the Apostle Peter and James describe how the grass withers and the flower falls off.  In fact Peter say in his first epistle, or letter, chapter 1, verse 24, “All flesh is like grass, and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls off’.  What he is saying is, that we, too, like the grass and flower, will wither away.  The physical aspect of this process is inescapable. 

Fortunately, through the grace of God, this doesn’t have to be permanent.  The spiritual aspect is often overlooked and is even unknown to some.  Just as the blossoms and leaves return to the trees and flowers bloom to fill the air with their sweet smelling fragrance, we too, can experience a renewal.  Spiritually, we are dead in our trespasses (Eph 2:1), and without accepting God’s grace we will remain dead.  Titus records the following in chapter 3, verse 5 of his epistle, “He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit.” 

This regeneration, or renewal, as described by Titus, as a washing most likely is in reference to Jesus’ admonition to Nicodemus in the Gospel of John, chapter three.  In response to Nicodemus’ question on how one can be born again when he is old, Jesus stated that “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.”  When this happens we are no longer dead in our sins, we have been renewed.

But this is not a single occurrence.  Paul writes in his epistle to the Corinthian brethren “Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day.”  Our physical (outward) bodies will decay.  There is no way of avoiding this natural process.  But our spiritual body, the inner man is renewed each and every day.  This can be a very comforting thought for those who have put their trust and faith in God.  Paul penned the following words to members of the church at Rome,  “I urge you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, {which is} your spiritual service of worship.  And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.”

Have you presented yourself a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God? Do you know what this means? If not, seek out the answers that you desire and need.  Turn to God today.  We are available at the Clinton church of Christ, to help you in any way that we can, to experience the renewal that God wants for you. 

Copyright © 1999, Nolan P. Rutter

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