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Newness in Christ

Take the Cross, Break the Chains!

The beginning of a new sports season brings an excitement that runs through us from head to toe. The rush of a fresh slate leads to dreams and hopes like winning the conference championship, going undefeated, breaking a school record, or even earning the role of captain.

We don’t know what will happen as we prepare for the start of a new season, but we have an eagerness to become the best we can and do everything possible to put ourselves in the best position to succeed. New beginnings aren’t only possible in sports. Our own lives also have new beginnings, each one reflecting the incredible work of the Lord that renews our hearts and lasts beyond our lifetimes.

When we surrender to Jesus’ lordship in our lives and acknowledge His saving work on the cross, we’re ushered into a new Kingdom family and a new way of living. We have the chance to know Him deeper, dive into His Word and let Him transform our hearts and minds to think, speak and act in new ways that reflect our growing relationship with God.

A new life lays before us — a wide-open road! It’s exciting to think that God is doing something brand new in our lives.

We are given a breath of fresh air in our spirits so we become new in life-altering ways. Through Jesus Christ bringing salvation from His death on the cross and resurrection, we are invited to live in new and powerful ways.

When Jesus saves us from the snare of sin, we are cleansed from any unrighteousness and given a new standing before God as His son or daughter. We have a newfound status before Him; our old ways are gone, and we are filled with new ways of living. We’re transformed from the inside out, by God’s Spirit, as He refines us from where we’ve been and how we’ve thought and acted. We become more like Jesus.

“This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun” (2 Corinthians 5:17).

Through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, we have a prime example of what it looks like to fulfill our days living for God. Jesus loved people, cared for the marginalized, defended the meek and stood firm on the Word of God. We look to Jesus to live and love like Him. Where can we stand up for others seen as weak? Live out this example and show them the care of Christ.

“My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” ­(Galatians 2:20).

God has transformed our hearts and minds so much, there is no way we can go back to the way things were. Sure, we might try hanging with the same friends, but if they’re doing things that aren’t wise or healthy, we may feel uncomfortable and notice a difference. It’s the Holy Spirit moving in us to remind us that Jesus has called us into a different way of living that glorifies God — a way of life that is good. Pay attention: If there are people you need to step away from, take courage. If there are habits you need to stop, pray for God to give you the strength needed to let go. Look to Him every step of the way as He guides you in the life of Christ.

“For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives” (Romans 6:4).

God has good plans for your life. He sent His Son to bring you back into His family from a fallen world. We can honor Him as we learn to navigate a new great life within us and a new life to live.

“For since the world began,
    no ear has heard
and no eye has seen a God like You,
    who works for those who wait for Him!” (Isaiah 64:4).

This is a wonderful adventure you never expected. He has begun something great in you and wants to work it out every day in every way — we need to get used to new.

Sarah Freymuth is the Communications Manager for Fellowship of Christian Athletes and writes content for blogs, articles, Bible reading plans and devotionals that share God's heart with coaches and athletes. She played softball for Concordia University Wisconsin, is in their Hall of Fame, and has led FCA Huddles since high school.

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