A New Way to Live
When you become a Christian by receiving Jesus as your Savior, He actually comes to live inside you by His Spirit, and you can be led by His Spirit throughout your life. You no longer have to feel you must follow religious rules and regulations, thinking you can please God by doing everything “right.” The Holy Spirit will guide you into God’s plans for your life, which are better than anything you could plan for yourself. This is truly a new way of living—a way of love, peace, freedom, fulfillment, and joy. You can begin it today, and it is a journey you will be on for the rest of your life.
Anytime you try to do anything new, you have to learn how to do it. That’s also true with a new way of living. Some of what you learn may seem unusual because it is different than anything you have done before and it is the complete opposite of what the world teaches us. For example, in God’s new way of living, people who try to be first end up last, while those who put themselves last end up first (see Matt. 20:16). If someone wants one thing from us, we can give them even more (see Matt. 5:40). Instead of holding grudges against people who have hurt us, we forgive them (see Matt. 18:21–22).
Jesus’s teaching to forgive those who use, abuse, or wound us— and then to go even further and actually love and bless them (see Luke 6:27–28)—was a difficult one for me. It meant forgiving my father for sexually abusing me and forgiving my mother, who knew about it and ignored it, choosing instead to treat me as though I were the one doing something wrong. Forgiving them seemed totally unreasonable to me. It took a long time for me to be willing to do that. When I finally did, it set me free and I urge you to forgive anyone that you have anything against.
Learning to forgive is only one of many lessons God has taught me about His way of living, which is why I say it is a lifetime journey. I am still learning. I want you to know that every path the Holy Spirit has led me to take on this new way has always brought me to a better place than I was before. God will never ask us to do anything difficult unless it will lead us to a better life.
Because the new way is not always easy, you may be tempted at times to fall back into your old ways. But if you will resist that temptation and ask God to help you persist in the new way of living, it will make your life better and ultimately easier than you ever thought possible.
Prayer Starter: Father, thank You for sending Jesus to heal me and set me free. Please lead me and strengthen me to grow in Your new way of living today. In Jesus’s Name, amen.