Recently at a Jr High youth event, Youth Director Jori Dueck presented an excellent talk based out of Ephesians 4:22-24.
I’m sharing an overview from my notes because it’s good material for all of us as a new year begins.

With the turning of the calendar some of us might want to make changes in our live in various areas. We might make
New Years Resolutions [promises to ourselves at the beginning of a hear that we will do something, stop something or
change something]. Whether we make resolutions this time of year or not, most of us realize that change is still hard. We might want to make resolutions and see a change in our life but we know it’s not easy.

Here are some verses to consider as we start 2019:

You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

Ephesians 4:22-24 [NIV]

The first idea is to put off or throw off our old sinful nature. Imagine if you had a large hairy spider crawling on your arm. You would surely throw that spider off as quickly and violently as needed! This is the vigour of the word Paul uses to show how important it is to put off our old nature and our sinful ways. Colossians 3:8-10 speaks to this:

But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.

Colossians 3:8-10 [NIV]

The Holy Spirit works in us to present us cleansed. Sometimes we allow things to build up in our thoughts and hearts that are actually bringing us down. Sometimes we need a renewal of our mind. This can include spending time reading the Bible or having a fast from media. It’s important to be surrounded with the truth.

We are to put on the new self as followers of Jesus. Things like compassion, kindness, patience, forgiveness and love. These are big, important qualities that we want to see happening and growing in our lives during the coming year.

As Jori finished her talk to the junior high students she mentioned Ephesians 2:10. We are God‘s Masterpiece. It’s important to realize that God is proud of us and he doesn’t make junk. After speaking, Jori showed a “skit guys” drama called God’s Chisel. It shows how we can cooperate with God in this process of becoming who he wants us to be. He loves us just as we are but shapes us, removes things that are displeasing to him and develops good things in us.

We can choose to co-operate with Him in 2019!