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Ephesians 4:22-24 – To put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness. (ESV)

As we clean up after the Christmas season and begin to put away our decorations and manger scenes for another year, I notice how bare our home is looking. In fact, it even seems that we have more room. Fear not, though! I was in the store recently, and the once-filled Christmas shelves have already been filled with Valentines!

Another year has now come and gone. Amid the festivities of ringing out the old and ringing in the new, I am reminded of Paul's admonition to put off the old self and put on the new self. How about our lives? Do they need a cleaning out — making place for Jesus to do something fresh and new? I know that for me, this is surely true. Of course, we don't need to leave it to New Year's Day for this to happen, but this is a good day to start. Each morning our prayer could be, "Lord, fill me anew this day."

What does this new year hold for us? None of us can answer this with complete confidence, for there is only One who knows this. Hopefully, this year will see us draw closer to God, and more closely resembling Christ in our habits, thoughts, words, and actions, putting on the new self in Christ.

Deuteronomy 11:12 – A land for which the Lord your God cares; the eyes of the Lord your God are always on it, from the beginning of the year to the very end of the year. (NKJV)

Prayer: Dear Lord, Your Word says that we need only ask according to Your will and it will be done for us. Lord, fill us anew each day. Help us to shed the old self and bring into light the new self in You. Lord, we come boldly to Your throne to ask You to stretch us and challenge us in this new year to spread the gospel. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.

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Julie Bowles <>
Barrie, Ontario, Canada

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