I’ve noticed recently numerous banners in front of businesses that say, “Under New Management.” What does those words bring to your mind when you see them or hear them? We automatically consider that the business has new leadership in place, a new owner. Changes are taking place, where the things that used to be done, have ceased and new methods have been implemented in how the business will go about being conducted.
I’m sure we have had unpleasant experiences with certain businesses, workplace, schools, etc. and we have thought, that if they had new management, that the overall functionality of the establishment will be improved. In the secular realm, we like to think that, and in some cases there is improvement with the new management and in others, its worse. We have seen those banners and/or signs and we tell others: “Hey, such and such place is under new management, let’s go see what’s different, what has changed!” Sometimes we will go and notice the uniforms of the clerks/office staff has changed, some new branding has taken place. But is that all? Is it the same service, etc. Spiritually speaking, when we put on the body of Christ in baptism, we exclaimed to the world, that we are “under new management.” But what is different about us? What change has REALLY taken place? Is this just a casual convenient thing you do to feel better and maybe make family members feel better, but no real change has taken place or is it something you are convicted about? When we go to a place we have been to numerous times and have experienced the bad service, the bad attitudes, etc. from staff, we see that sign/banner of being under new management and we go to see if it’s the same…We want to see if there’s been a transformation. How many of us have considered a business’s motto and maybe the motto is all about this “great service” that they provide and when you get there, you find so-called workers that don’t want to be there, that are very rude, most likely if it wasn’t for the paycheck every 2 weeks they wouldn’t be there. Now if this same store we see this motto about great service says they are under new management and we get there only to find the same thing as before, then we can say that there was no transformation. Reason being, the outward actions will be a clear evident sign.
Spiritually, how many of us are being transformed, “transformed by the renewing of our minds?” (cf. Rom. 12:1,2). There are slews of people in the world and yes, even in the Lord’s church who call themselves “Christians” but there’s no transformation that is taking place. What Paul presented is what we need to understand, that change begins internally. It is something we put into practice. Paul knew what transformation was. When he experienced Christ, having heard the word of the Lord, believing that Jesus Christ was the son of the living God, he went on to put on Christ in baptism as Acts 9, Acts 22 records. He didn’t take along with him the old ways of Saul of Tarsus, he went on as Acts 9:20 “Immediately he preached the Christ in the synagogues that He is the Son of God.” As for his past, he didn’t live there anymore! Paul was under new management. It was no longer about himself and serving the flesh, it was all about Jesus (cf. Gal. 2:20). Paul experienced the life-altering power of the Lord. That’s how he was able to change from the inside out!
You know I am so discouraged when I go to an establishment who claims to be under new management only to find the same exact things going on before. What I find disheartening more so, is when I see Christian after Christian who claim to be under new management of Christ yet carry with them the same old sinful world. The scriptures says that we can have it both ways (cf. Matt. 6:24; James 4:4). Christianity today is not what Christianity was in the 1st century. People today want Christianity without the challenges of living sacrificially for the Lord, only desiring a skin-deep religion rather than a heart-felt desire to please the Lord. There is a challenge in the scriptures that we are to take seriously if we want the abundant life that Jesus promised in John 10:10. What the apostle Paul showed us through his life was a sinner who wholeheartedly devoted himself to the Lord and was no longer conforming to the selfish desires of the world but was transformed by the renewing of his mind! Paul desired to be something better, something greater than his old self of Saul of Tarsus. But to do that, that Saul of Tarsus would have to be under new management. He would have to give his old self up, the selfish desires of the world and live for Christ Jesus. Paul would talk about transformation to the brethren at Colosse in Colossians 3. Keep in mind that Paul is talking to CHRISTIANS! They have put on the body of Christ in baptism and are striving to shine as a light amid a dark and dreary world. Paul reminds the Colosse brethren that they had been RAISED WITH CHRIST and with such, Paul says that they need to seek those things above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. That they need to set their affections, their minds on things above” (1,2). This was not just exclusive for the Colossians; this is for us as well today. Paul goes on to give them as well as us the reason our minds, our affections need to be on things above. The reason you find in verses 3-4. Paul is talking about a life that is so transformed that the old has died, (cf. Gal. 2:20), and this new life is now hidden with Christ in God. Paul refused to conform to the flesh and the world, he was under new management (Phil. 3:4-14). For Paul to be able to say that, to be the disciple that he had been called by the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ to be, and for us to be able to truly be new, we have to put to death the works of the flesh and be renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him (cf. Col. 3:5-10). Paul was very intentional! Paul set his mind to walk according to the Spirit (Romans 8:5) even as he would tell the Christians at Galatia, in talking about the fruit of the spirit (Gal. 5:25). This is about allowing the Spirit to work within us, to renew us in the image of the Creator. The problem that we have today is that instead of the original design of us being made in the image of the Creator, we have decided to make God in the image of our liking! That’s not the way God said it in Genesis 1:26. The Lord desires a people who have been transformed from the inside out (Phil. 1:27; 2:12,13). Do we see that in ourselves today? Have we really given our lives to the Lord? As Christians, we should be working to become more like Him every day as our minds, our affections are set on things above, not on things of this earth.
With such I will end with a story about a battle that goes on inside people. A battle between two ‘wolves’ inside us all. One is Evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, pride. The other is good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion.’ The question of which wolf wins is determined as to which one you feed. Are you starving the evil, and feeding the good?! The Colosse brethren used to feed the evil, they used to walk according to the flesh and lived in them. As Christians so did we. Are you still feeding and living for the flesh, or are you starving the flesh, only to feed the Spirit and walk according to the Spirit pleasing unto the Lord? May the world see the difference in our lives, a transformed life by the word of God (Phil. 2:15).
It’s easy to put up a sign or banner saying “UNDER NEW MANAGEMENT.” It takes effort however to actually show that this new management has made a tremendous difference; from the inside out.
Something to think about. Have a great week! – DJ 😊