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February 8 – He: Put on the new self

“Incline my heart to your testimonies, and not to selfish gain! Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things; and give me life in your ways.” – Psalm 119:36-37 

Scripture reading: Ephesians 4:17-32; Psalm 119:33-40

The Psalmist, through faith, recognizes the battle that goes on within, between the two selves, between his old nature and his new nature. He wants to do what is right, but he finds that he often struggles against the desire for riches (36) and his heart is turned toward idols (37).

The apostle Paul shows in Romans 7 that this is an age-old problem for believers and a normal struggle for Christians. The wonderful news is that because of Jesus Christ there is a possibility of inner struggle and spiritual battle! Christ came to this world to battle sin. He has done that decisively through life-long obedience, through His death on the cross and by way of His resurrection from the dead. True faith is to look outside of yourself to Jesus Christ. Paul teaches this in Ephesians 4. You did not so learn Christ, he says. True faith is no longer relying on yourself to fight sin, but looking to Christ, praying for His Spirit to work faith and renewal, and so die to the old nature and put on the new nature. In that power, our hearts are inclined more and more to God’s will and way. We turn our eyes from worthless, worldly things and focus on the true treasure which is in heaven.

Let us turn our eyes from evil. Let us turn our hearts from worshiping idols. Let us keep our mouth from speaking lies. And we will find rest for our souls.

Suggestions for prayer

Give thanks that you experience spiritual struggle and inner warfare against sin, the devil and his whole dominion. Without Christ we would have no ability to fight. Pray that you follow Christ and win the battles in His name.

This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Rev. James Slaa is pastor of the Smithers Canadian Reformed Church in British Columbia, Canada.

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