Billy's Blog
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February 27, 2019, 9:58 AM

A New Normal

How exactly do you define normal? 

I've got an idea. Usually when we say that something is normal it's something we do or it's something with which we agree. There are fads that I think are weird that teenagers think are perfectly normal. The other day I was wearing a pair of jeans that had a couple of worn spots that were starting to become holes. One teen came up to me and asked where I'd got my jeans. I told her that I had no idea because it's been years. This was weird to her, because now the fad is to buy jeans with holes in them. This is weird to me. Why would you buy a worn out pair of jeans as new and spend $50 and over for them? 

What is weird to me is normal to this teenager. 

What is normal in our culture is not what God is calling us to. Think about what is normal today. Divorce, abuse, addiction, piles of debt, dysfunction...this is not the normal we should accept in our lives. I love what Paul writes in Romans 6:1-7. Let's just read it and let it speak to us. 

What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Or don't you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into his death? We are therefore buried with him in baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. For we know that our old self was cruciified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin--because anyone who has died has been set free from sin. Romans 6:1-7

Ok, that's a lot of words , but here we go. 

Should we sin to get more grace? The answer is NO. You don't make yourself purposefully less lovable so that it takes more love for people to love you? That's just ridiculous. We don't go on sinning simply to test the grace and mercy of God. 

You've died to sin don't live in it any longer. Are you telling me that I'll never sin again once I'm a Christian. NO...John makes that very clear in 1 John 4. We will always battle sin, but Paul is talking about LIVING in sin. We have a new lifestyle. We don't have a lifestyle of sin anymore. We have a new normal in our lives. Our old normal might have been bitterness, but our new normal is forgiveness. Our old normal might have been cursing but new normal is lifting people up with our words. 

The old self was crucified, we have new life. The old normal was nailed to the cross when we got baptized. We don't have to live or think like we used to. We now are empowered by the Holy Spirit, the presence of Jesus, and we have the ability to create a new normal in our lives. Our old normal would have been to turn to alcohol or drugs or food or sex when life gets really stressful. Now we turn to God. We turn to prayer. We call another believer and talk about it. We are still tempted to go back to our old normal but our new normal is starting to take over. 

We are no longer slaves to sin. When I hear the word, slavery, I never have any good thoughts. I think of loss of freedom, punishment, no pay, no choice, and shackles. Sin is fun for a season but ultimately it leads us to slavery. It imprisons us with addiction or other forms of bondage. When we get saved we are set free to create a new normal for ourselves. No longer are we  enslaved in sin we are set free to live out our God given purpose. 

A new normal does not come overnight. If you have been living one way for 20, 30, 40 years you won't establish a new normal for your life in a week. But God is working in your life. The Bible speaks of fruit of the Spirit in Galatians chapter five. This speaks of the natural outcome of having Jesus in your life. Fruit doesn't appear the first week or month you plant a tree. It might not even seem like anything is happening but the seed is growing. Things are changing for the good. Growth is happening. 

Your new normal is coming. Be patient and help the seed grow. Water it and feed it with Bible reading, church attendance, prayer, and being with other believers. If you submit to your new normal it will come and it will change your life more than you could ever believe. 

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