Once upon a time a farmer accepted Christ as his Savior. Whenever he had a mean thought, though, or argued with his wife, or was tempted to lie about something, he wondered if he really was a Christian. One day, as he plowed a field near his house, old doubts returned. Determined to put an end to his spiritual waffling, the farmer stopped his tractor, picked up a fence post, walked to the center of the field and drove that stake into the ground. “There!” he said. “I have accepted Christ. I am a Christian here and now and forever more.” Then he climbed back on the tractor and continued his work. Thereafter, whenever a doubt came into his mind, he’d point at the stake and say, “I am a Christian. There’s my stake. I have already made that decision.”
Many of us need a stake of remembrance, one that reminds us that we are being renewed day to day by the power of God. ‘Ever heard comments like these?
- “Well, our family always has been stubborn.”
- “He’s just mean spirited like his daddy was.”
- “You know alcoholism runs in her family.”
That kind of thing is over according to this verse: “If any person is in Christ, he is a new creation (a new creature altogether), the old (moral and spiritual condition) has passed away. Behold the fresh and the new has come” (2 Corinthians 5:17 AMP).
Why don’t those of us who have accepted Christ as Savior act fresh and new (and sweet and angelic) all the time? Perhaps it is because we need daily renewal. Even though our spirits are right with God, we have minds, wills, and emotions that have to be brought in line with God’s Spirit in us over and over again. We need to be “constantly renewed in the spirit of your mind, having a fresh mental and spiritual attitudes, and put on the new nature created in God’s image in true righteousness and holiness” (Ephesians 4: 23-25 AMP).
This daily renewal involves:
- Looking to Jesus for help.
- Asking for forgiveness and forgiving others.
- Loving others every day.
- Reading God’s Word.
- Doing our best to be more like Jesus.
Will we fail to do all that? Certainly! But God always gives us the opportunity and the power to start afresh. Don’t get discouraged. God’s grace is enough. We can each drive a stake somewhere as a reminder that we can be and are being renewed every day by God’s grace and power.
*For the month of December, each post will be an abridged excerpt from Every Wednesday Morning, written by my mom, Beth Smith. If you want to read all 64 devotional essays in their full length form, you can grab a copy of her book at etsy.com.