Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Orange (the color) (11/19/09)
By Edmond Ng
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that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth. (Ephesians 4:22-24 NAS)When we see the leaves of the trees turning orange, we know we are in the seasons of change between the heat of summer and the cool of winter. Orange, in that sense, is like a color on the edge, a divider of two seasons representing a period of change between two extremes in temperature. It is often associated with the season of fall and it signifies the period of time when leaves begin to die before entering into a new season. Orange is also the color of the setting sun and the rising in the early morn to a fresh new day. It represents a season of change, a time of transformation, a changeover of two opposites, a turning point and a surrogate, much like someone or something that replaces or is used instead of another as a substitute.
Our salvation is in many ways similar to the changing seasons between summer and winter and between sunset and sunrise. Like the changing seasons and the end of a day to a fresh new day, our salvation signifies a turning point, a change between two extremes, a transformation and a changeover from the bondage of sin to freedom in Christ. It is like the leaves that fall and die before the changing seasons, the death of our old selves crucified with Christ that we may no longer be slaves to sin (Romans 6:5-6). It is the complete replacement of ourselves by the One who willingly became our substitute to die on the cross for our sins, that we may be renewed in the spirit of our minds, to put on our new selves, which in the likeness of God have been made holy (Ephesians 4:22-24). Jesus our Lord is the One Who is the propitiation for our sins and not for ours only, but also for the rest of the whole world (1 John 2:2).
As obedient children of God and believers of the Lord, therefore, let us all not be conformed to our former ways, but like the Holy One who called us, be holy ourselves also in all our behavior, because our God is holy, so we should also be holy (1 Peter 14-16). The call to live holy lives, however, is not always well received, because many of us feel it is too imposing on our lifestyle. This is however as far from the truth as anyone can imagine because living holy lives is in fact a better lifestyle because it sets us free from the control of the devil, from doing the things we do not wish to do and from sin (Romans 7:15-23).
Living holy lives is all about living abundant lives. It is about living lives that do not fall short of what God wants for us, which is to be perfect just as our heavenly Father is perfect (Matthew 5:48). Not that we have already become perfect, but we ought to press on with this attitude toward the goal for the prize of our upward calling (Philippians 3:12-15).
Cultivating perfection while living on earth is therefore nothing wrong, for He Who has begun a good work in us is able and will surely perfect us when He returns (Philippians 1:6). All we need to do in the meantime is not to buffet ourselves to demonstrate perfect example of Christian lives, but to let the Holy Spirit do His work in molding us from within, to put to death our deeds of the flesh, and to manifest Christ through us (Romans 8:12-13).
Dear Lord, thank You for setting us free from the bondage of sin and for transforming us to live our lives anew in You. Help us O God not to conform to our former ways, but to press on toward living holy and perfect lives worthy of our upward calling. Holy Spirit, mold us from within that we may not fall prey to the desires of our flesh, but that we may reveal Christ in our lives more and more each day.
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