There’s an old saying that says “If the barn needs painting paint it”.  We don’t have a barn but we have used a bit of paint in recent days (yes, I know that this saying refers to a woman wearing makeup).  In the entrance of our home we had a tired, well used wicker storage unit, it was getting to be a bit of an eyesore, but it was a very practical piece of furniture.  Last week we decided to paint it.  We painted the framing black, and spray painted the wicker baskets white.  The results…Wow… it is like have a new piece of furniture.  What I was ready to retire now brightens our entrance area.  It has been renewed.  I think if it could talk it would say “Thank you, I needed that.  I feel revived, good as new.”

Perhaps there are times when we feel like that piece of furniture.  Old, scraped up, dull and tired.  Perhaps we feel like we need a new start, or a renewal.  If you are feeling like that I have good news for you.  You don’t have to get out the paint.  You don’t have to spend a small fortune at the spa and you don’t even need to get a new hair do.  But if they make you feel better about yourself, go right ahead.

True renewal starts with our minds.  Paul recognized that as he wrote:  “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.”  Romans 12:2 (NIV)

We know too well the patterns of this world…me first…I have to be the best, or I’m not good enough…worry…panic…envy and strife just to name a few.  Often times we cannot help the things that pop into our minds, but to be sure we can help what we entertain in them.  If you have been following the patterns of this world, especially in your thinking then you are in need of this renewal that Paul talks about.  This renewal is free but it is not a quick fix.  The renewing of our minds takes time and commitment.

We must first start with the Word of God.  “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly…” Colossians 3:16  (KJV).  The Word  of God is our guide for living a life that is pleasing in His sight, and God is the one who equips us to live that life “abundantly”, not dragged out, down and defeated.  Take a moment for that word to sink into your mind abundantly.

Secondly, as we turn again to the writings of Paul and consider the state of our minds he says “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus”  Philippians 2:5  I leave with you the task of looking up Philippians 2 to read on from verse 5 to see what that mind of Christ looked like.

When you follow this quick start guide to renewal you will find refreshment for your very souls.  You will find the Word of God and the mind of Christ infilling you and empowering you to face your day with a quiet confidence that renews your spirit.  This will help you to think on things that are true, and lovely and good.  After some time you will find that the patterns of this world will be pushed aside for the mind of Christ…I guarantee it on the foundations of His Word.

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