2 Corinthians 5:17 (AMP) Therefore if anyone is in Christ [that is, grafted in, joined to Him by faith in Him as Savior], he is a new creature [reborn and renewed by the Holy Spirit]; the old things [the previous moral and spiritual condition] have passed away. Behold, new things have come [because spiritual awakening brings a new life].

I pray you had a wonderful time celebrating Christmas with your families. My family and I are away from home, enjoying each other, in the mountains of Tennessee. We take this time to just be us. We go on adventures, eat out at new places and spend time in a new environment to check on our growth status as a family.

I think we should do that regularly as believers as well. We get so comfortable in our routines. I use to read the above scripture and think that it only applied to the moment I accepted Christ as my Lord and Savior. That is just part of it. Freedom comes when you realize that spiritual awakening brings new life. My spirit man became alive, yes, however I did not know it’s fullness until I started applying the next verse.

2 Corinthians 5:18-20 (AMP) But all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ [making us acceptable to Him] and gave us the ministry of reconciliation [so that by our example we might bring others to Him], that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting people’s sins against them [but canceling them]. And He has committed to us the message of reconciliation [that is, restoration to favor with God]. So we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making His appeal through us; we [as Christ’s representatives] plead with you on behalf of Christ to be reconciled to God. 

I am a minister of reconciliation, and if you are in Christ, so are you. As I surrender and pursue after a relationship with the Father, His spirit will begin to speak to my spirit and reveal things in His Word that will cause me to grow and get stronger spiritually. There is no magic formula. I cannot wait to feel it in my emotions. This is a decision I have to make. I have to determine to want the new.

Read your Word not to get your streaks, and not to get your goal to read in a certain amount of time. Read your Word with a surrendered heart. “God what are you saying to me today?” I cannot allow my emotions to lead my life or run my life. It is not about the feeling, it about the character and nature as revealed through His Word.

How can we celebrate Christmas year round? How do I determine if this new life is a part of me continually? Be determined each day to grow in God. How? 1) Through relational development. I must be committed to spending time with God. 2) Through personal surrender. I must be willing to say no to things in my life that pulls me away from the development and relationship with Him. 3) Make myself available to serve. If you have number one and number two and you do not have an outlet in the kingdom, then you really are not growing in anything. If you have number three with out numbers one and two, you are doing it for self promotion and not kingdom building. It is in the moments that you serve that the things that you have learned will be tested and proven. Being available to serve is proving ground in what you said you learned. I would also like to suggest that being available to serve will reveal your calling…the calling to the ministry of reconciliation.

Father, I thank you for the gift of love that you show and give. Let me be an example of that love by answering the call into the ministry of reconciliation. Through your Son I have been made a new creation. The person I was yesterday, is different from who I am today. I choose to grow in your Word and in your ways by developing a closer relationship with you. I choose to serve as I grow. I choose to surrender as I grow. Your life is better than my old life. You are where I find my fullness. Let me be an example of that to others. In Jesus Name, Amen.

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