Girlfriends in God is a non-denominational ministry that crosses generational and racial boundaries to bring the Body of Christ together as believers. Just as God sent Ruth to Naomi and Mary to Elizabeth, God continues to use women to encourage and equip other women in their spiritual journey. We are doing life together! The Girlfriends in God Daily Devotional is our popular daily Bible devotion for women. GIG Devotionals for Women offer wisdom and insight for applying Biblical truths to the ups and downs of everyday life. Reading daily devotions provides strength and encouragement in your daily walk with Jesus Christ.
September 22, 2011
Exchanging the Old for the New
“And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit” (2 Corinthians 3:18 NIV).
Friend to Friend
Julianna came out of the womb ready to meet every challenge with determination, every celebration with enthusiasm, and every mystery with the passion of discovery. Her fiery red hair was matched only by her fiery personality. She never did anything half-way, but with the throttle full speed ahead. Of the Price’s three children, Julianna was the one who frequented the emergency room for stitches due to throwing caution to the wind as she whirled through her childhood.
One day when Julianna was twelve years old, she rushed out her front door on her way to dance class. She slammed the door behind her as she hurried to catch her ride, but the door closed before all of her fingers followed her body across the threshold. Now you have probably have slammed your fingers in a door a time or two, and can remember wincing a bit. But Julianna never does anything half-way. She jerked to a sudden halt, spun around quickly, and saw her appendages trapped in the closed door. When she opened the door to remove her hand, she was horrified to discover that all of it was not there. She had amputated the upper third of her second right finger.
“Help! Somebody help me! I’ve just cut off my finger!”
Fortunately, the woman picking her up for dance class was a nurse. She rushed to the screaming ballerina. “Julianna, where’s your mom?” she asked.
“She’s not here,” Julianna answered between sobs. “Nobody’s here but Daniel.”
“Quick,” the neighbor instructed, “Let’s put some pressure on that nub. Daniel, come help us!” she yelled.
Daniel, Julianna’s fifteen-year-old brother, ran down the stairs at the cry for help.
“Julianna’s just cut her finger off. You have to find it. We’ve got to put it in ice and take her to the hospital right away.”
A pale-faced Daniel went to the scene of the accident. As he hung his head, he saw the finger lying at his feet. Trying not to lose his breakfast, Daniel picked up his sister’s digit in a towel and handed it over to the nurse.
Well the good news is that they got to the hospital in time. The skilled doctor put Humpty-Dumpty back together again and told them to pray that the finger would reattach.
“We’ll keep our fingers crossed,” he said with a grin as he walked out of the treatment room.
A few days later Julianna unwrapped the bandages, afraid of what she might find underneath. What she saw was not a pretty sight. Instead of a finger, she saw a black mushroom-like thimble sitting atop her nub.
“Doctor, we took the bandage off today. It’s black and crusty and looks like a mushroom cap,” her mom reported. “It looks dead.”
“That’s fine,” he reassured her. “Don’t worry. If nature is working properly, and it sounds like it is, the top will turn black, but underneath, nerves and blood vessels are reattaching. Underneath the thimble, a new finger is forming. She needs the old part in order for the new part to form underneath. In about three weeks, we’ll know if the procedure worked. Just keep it wrapped and clean.”
A few weeks after the accident, Julianna came to spend the night with us while she was attending a dance camp in my hometown. I had the pleasure of her company and the displeasure of changing her bandage. Her description was accurate.
Four weeks after Julianna had returned home, she wrote me a thank-you note for having her in our home. She ended by saying, “P.S. Guess what? My crusty thimble fell off and I have a new finger!”
Now don’t ask me how this happened. It is a mystery to me. But scripture tells of another mystery that is just as amazing. Another grafting process that is just as miraculous. When God warned Adam and Eve not to eat of fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, He told them that their punishment for disobedience would be death. They did eat - and immediately their spirits died- their zoe life was taken away and they were cut off from God. As a result, every person after that time has been born with a dead spirit, including you and me.
But God didn’t leave us that way. God demonstrated His love toward us, that while we were still a sinner (cut off, dead, rotten to the core), Christ died for us and made it possible for us to be grafted onto the living root – Himself (Romans 5:8, Romans 11:17). At the very moment we accept Jesus Christ as our Savior, we receive a new living spirit (zoe life) to replace our old dead spirit. In the twinkling of an eye - in the time it takes for us to say, “I believe,” we become a spiritually new creation. However, God’s process of shaping and molding us into the image of Christ, takes a lifetime. That process is how to become spiritually beautiful.
Paul tells us: “And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit” (2 Corinthians 3:18 NIV). Reflecting the Lord’s glory! I know of no other beauty treatment that will make a woman truly beautiful.
Dear Heavenly Father, I know I became a new creation in Christ when I became a Christian. But sometimes, I just feel like the same old me. Please help me to become more conformed to the image of Christ today. Take away whatever needs to be taken away to reveal the beauty of You that is in my heart. Help me to be spiritually beautiful today and always.
In Jesus’ name,
Now It’s Your Turn
How would you describe “spiritual beauty?”
Who do you know that exemplifies what “spiritual beauty” looks and acts like?
What do you think makes that person reflect the beauty of Christ?
I’d love to hear your responses. Let’s chat. Go to www.facebook.com/sharonjaynesand tell me what you think makes a woman spiritually beautiful!
More from the Girlfriends
Have you ever felt this way: “If I’m a new creation, then why don’t I feel like one and why don’t I act like one?” If so, then perhaps you’d like to read Sharon’s book, Becoming Spiritually Beautiful – Seeing Yourself as God Sees You.In this book you’ll discover the secrets to spiritual beauty and to becoming a radiant Christian woman. It also comes with a Bible Study guide for those who want to spend extra time at God’s spa!
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