Ephesians 4:17-24 (NKJV) The New Man (or for this lesson: The NEW Canvas)
17 This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, 18 having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart; 19 who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.
20 But you have not so learned Christ, 21 if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: 22 that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, 23 and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.
put off - To lay aside.
be renewed - To renovate; to restore to a former state, or to a good state, after decay or depravation; to rebuild; to repair.
Thoughts from Leslie
Our life is like a canvas. God intended for each of us to be born as a clean, white canvas, but we are all born with a sin nature this is not possible. Each time we act upon our sin nature, our canvas becomes rough and dusty. But, like a painter's canvas, our lives can be wiped clean and smoothed again! It is not too late for any of us to become something new and beautiful!
Let's reflect again on the steps required to refurbish a used canvas. Watch the “New Canvas” video to get a great visual of this process:
Let's take note of the second key step: Sanding
In order to hold a new picture, a canvas must first be sanded. Physically we must do the same. We must remove the callouses and rough edges from our lives before we can hold a new "life picture". Smoothing ourselves from the rough edges caused from sin is sometimes difficult, but ALWAYS necessary.
Before we take any other steps, we must first be in total agreement with our Heavenly Father.
This can sometimes be difficult to do. It requires changing our thinking! We must intentionally smooth out our jagged thoughts and totally align them with our creator. To accomplish this, we will need wisdom that we do not possess on our own. We will need to refer to God's Holy Word, to help us.
The Bible is our sandpaper!
Sanding is necessary because it is the step which will restore our minds back into agreement with our Heavenly Father. The old lies and misconceptions that are roughing up our thoughts must be smoothed out and removed. Big Takeaway
We have seen from our focus video that a used canvas can be transformed into a new masterpiece. But it must first be renewed.
This renewal begins with a dusting process, but it does not end there.
Sanding of the canvas must occur next. After the initial surface dirt is removed through dusting, the material must be altered on a deeper level. Sanding forces the rough edges to be removed. This step leaves the canvas smooth and aligned. The used canvas is then one step closer to holding a beautiful new masterpiece.
For us to become something new and beautiful, we must also experience this necessary second refurbishing step.
After we dust our surface and leave our sins behind, we must then be sanded. This second step will help us not return to our past sins. To be fully sanded, we must spend quality time reading the Word of God. God's Love and Truth is what we need to align us! In other words, The Bible is to us what sandpaper is to an artist. Action Plan
The Word of God cannot change us UNLESS we spend time reading it. If we truly desire to become a new and beautiful creation, we must first take action! We must spend time immersed in the Word of God. To help accomplish this, we strongly encourage you to create a reading plan.
Because we all learn and study differently, our plans do not have to be identical. There is no one right way to read the Bible. The most important thing is that we allow our hearts and minds to become totally immersed in the truths we read as we study.
To help us accomplish this, spend time reflecting on a verse or two each time you. By taking time to reflect, we are allowing our brain to fully process and interact with the words on the page. It is this interaction that changes our thought patterns. This reflection piece can add a whole new dimension to our daily studies.
One way to reflect is to create pictures as you read. Another way is to take notes. A third way is to ask questions along the way. The possibilities are limitless, but this reflection step is very needed.
Here is a reflection coloring page to download and color: