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Growing Older Gracefully.JPG




This may sound like a really weird title but I have to tell you this - Last Tuesday, after being back home and resting for awhile, and then doing dinner, etc., I was sitting in my chair beside my bed, and I said to the Lord, “Well, Father, which way do You want me to go now - what should I teach on next Tuesday?”, and just as clear as can be - deep within me (not outloud), I heard this, “Teach about Getting Acquainted With The New You,” because a lot of my kids, especially the older ones, just kinda’ tend to go back to their OLD SELF, because they feel life is getting closer to being over.  They tend to forget that they are NEW CREATIONS.”


By the way, He also told me to send out a text to remind some of ‘His Older Kids’ that they signed up to come.  Laughing!  


So - we’re going to start off with this very well known verse.  It’s 2 Corinthians 5:17 - “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold all things have become new.”  Now, a huge portion of Christianity just think that it means that you have a ticket to Heaven - because they haven’t been taught the truth about this.  They look in the mirror and they look the same as they did before.  They have the same feelings about people, places, things, etc. as they did before.  Therefore, they think that nothing has changed in that realm.  Sometimes, they think, “Well, if I just try real hard to do this love thing, maybe something will change.”  They are completely unaware that the ability to ‘walk like Jesus walked while here on this earth’ is not in your soul - it’s already in your new born again spirit - and it’s up to you to get it into your soul, just the same way that you got BORN AGAIN - by believing and receiving it.  It is impossible for us to ‘walk the Jesus walk’ from our own strength.  It must be in His ability.


Now - here’s a very important truth.  He won’t force His will on you and make you do things His way.  He gave you authority - therefore, you must choose to do things His way.  He has given us the ability in our spirits when we were born again - but we have to access it.


Now the reason the Lord wants us to think about this is that, even though some of us are aware of this truth, when we grow older, there is a tendency among us to center in on ‘getting older’ and all that that involves, rather than accessing His ability from our spirit and walking in His power.  


The reason for this is varied among us but, one of the chief reasons for this is our bodies start getting weaker, and begin having more problems than we used to have - and it’s embarrassing for us.  We sometimes feel like we’re just not worth much anymore.  So when somebody says, “You’re a NEW CREATION, it is our tendency to say on the inside, “Yeah, well I don’t feel NEW, I feel old!!!


The Lord wants us to IDENTIFY with the NEW CREATION that we are on the inside - in our spirit.  He wants us to think of ourselves as HIS NEW CREATION, more than we think about being old.  We have control over our minds.  Proverbs 23:7 says, “For as a man thinks in his heart, so is he.  ‘Eat and drink’ he says to you, but his heart is not with you.”  In other words, you can say something because it’s the right thing to say, but if it’s not coming from your heart, it’s not the truth.  What you think in your mind, ponder on, meditate on, really believe on the inside, that’s what’s really in your heart.  Therefore, we must begin to think differently to have different results in our lives.


By the way, let me just add a little something right here.  I believe that when the Word refers to your heart, it is referring to that place inside you where your spirit and soul come together - that place that you really believe from, act from, think from.  The heart is that place in you where you are growing in Christ.  I think it’s hard to really define it much more than that.  We use the word often to speak about romance, or an attitude toward our children, and on and on.  I believe the heart is where your deep down real beliefs and feelings have come together.


Now, I’m going to mention two verses that I have mentioned many times - but it’s really appropriate here - and that is Romans 12:1-2.  “I beseech you, therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service, And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”  These verses are so powerful and they have changed my life.  WE MUST GET OUR MIND RENEWED, SO OUR MIND THINKS LIKE GOD THINKS.  WE DO THAT BY TAKING IN HIS WORD.


Now - brothers and sisters - that’s not a 1 or 2 week deal and ‘bam - you got it’!  It is a lifetime - way of life.  The more you relate to God by communing with Him, soaking in His Word, praying for others, just sitting and thinking about Him, and sharing everything with Him, the more your mind (which is in your soul) gets renewed.  The more your mind gets renewed, the more you see yourself as His child, His heir, and the more you begin to access all of those fruits of the spirit that we’ve talked about from Galatians 5:22-23 - “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.  Against such there is no law.”




Now - I have found that this is a life long process.  But, at the same time, even though we keep on maturing in it, even that which we have already gotten ahold of, has a huge impact on our lives - as we see ourselves as brand new creatures than who we used to be - BECAUSE WE THINK DIFFERENT.


Now, I’ve told you many of my own stories, so you already know that, as a little girl, I was an extreme introvert - brought on because of my left eye being crossed.  Being called out, or being asked to say something in a group, or people looking at me - all those things were very frightening to me.  When I was in my 2nd year of college, on Spring Break, I found an eye surgeon, who would perform the two surgeries needed on my eye, and allow me to pay him for it on a monthly basis.  Therefore, I had that done, got a job as an executive secretary at Employers Reinsurance Corporation (an insurance company that insures insurance companies) and paid off my debt - instead of going back to college.  (By the way, as a side note, it was there, that I made a friend - and her husband worked at TWA and had a friend there.  These connections set me up with a blind date - who became my husband - GOD!!)


But - even though, I had the surgery, and my eye was straight - I was still that introvert in front of people.  I was born again, but I still had the mindset of not liking a bunch of people looking at me - or especially me speaking in front of people.  


So after my husband and I were married, then had our two children, then went to Bible School for my husband in Canada for a year - then to Colorado - and then into the ministry for my husband, I still had that introvert personality.  THEN - God began to talk to me about teaching women - and I was okay with little groups of women, sitting in a circle.  THEN WE MOVED BACK TO KANSAS CITY, OUR HOME TOWN, AND AFTER AWHILE, WE STARTED A CHURCH THERE - IN OUR HOME, FIRST - THEN A COMMUNITY CENTER !  I had a group of women meeting every week - we sat in a circle and I taught!


THEN - One day, God spoke to me and told me to put the chairs lined up - like 5 or 6, then 5 or 6 behind them, and so on - and He wanted me to stand in front and teach.  I cannot tell you the terror that overwhelmed me.  Now - here’s the important thing - I had learned in my life up to that point, that, if God tells you to do something, no matter how hard it is, YOU HAVE TO OBEY HIM AND TRUST HIM - NO MATTER HOW YOU FEEL.  (Remember that old hymn - “Trust and obey - for there’s no other way - to be happy in Jesus - but to trust and obey.”) I was actually shaking as I put the chairs like He said - but I did it.  When the ladies came, they looked at the chairs and looked at me with a questioning look on their faces - and I just told them God said to do it this way.


Now - on the inside (in my soul where the mind, will, and emotions are), I was a nervous wreck - but I tried not to show it on the outside.  When it was time to start, I was working hard at not shaking.  I got up out of the chair I was in and I stood up, with my notes in front of me, and I opened my mouth and began to speak.  Now, I don’t have a way to explain this - other than this!  As I opened my mouth, and began to speak, all the shaking and the fear was gone.  It just stopped!  I began to teach what the Lord had given me and I was aware of God’s strength, His ability, His will, and HIS WAY coming forth from me.  It was truly a miracle moment for me and changed my life that day.  I learned that day that following what God wants you to do and trusting Him leads to victory.  I also learned that, in my NEW BORN AGAIN SPIRIT, I HAD EVERYTHING I NEEDED TO LIVE AS THE NEW CREATION THAT I NOW



That was a life-changing moment for me about overcoming all the stuff from my past and believing in my heart and saying with my mouth what God wanted me to be like.  I really began to get ahold THAT DAY that I didn’t have to carry with me the baggage of the past - THAT I WAS A NEW CREATION.  Another way of putting it is that I began to REALLY GET ACQUAINTED WITH THE NEW ME.


Now, I don’t mean to imply that everything was just perfect and easy for me from that point on - No I had other struggles in other areas - like we all do.  BUT - that day, I really learned what it meant to be a NEW CREATION.  Truly, from that miraculous encounter with the Lord, I began to understand that God had a will for me for the rest of my time here on this earth - but He wouldn’t force it on me - He wouldn’t violate my FREE WILL.  I saw that I had to use my authority as a human being on this earth (given by God to all mankind), and, by my own choice, access the wonderful blessings that He placed in my NEW BORN AGAIN SPIRIT, when I accepted Christ as my Savior.  IT WAS MY CHOICE - I FINALLY GOT IT!!!!!


From that day on to now, I have never experienced that fear, and introvert feelings again.  After that, I began to teach in our church, in our building that God miraculously provided for us, then I had a radio program on a Christian radio station, then, at times, my husband and I would team teach,  then I was asked to speak at meetings in different places through the Midwest, and on and on.




We used to sing this song -

I’m a new creation,

I’m a brand new man,

Old things have passed away,

I’ve been born again.

More than a conqueror,

That’s who I am,

I’m a new creation,

I’m a brand new man.


Please understand that when songs and other things, even in Scripture, when the word “man” is used, it is referring to mankind.


Now - I’m going to read a portion of Scripture but I’m going to read one verse at a time and comment on the verses individually.  


I’m starting at Romans 6:1 - “What shall we say then?  Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound?”  This is just the beginning of something deeper that Paul was trying to get across to us.  Of course, we know that God doesn’t want us to keep on sinning so the grace will just be bigger and bigger for us.  


Rom. 6:2 - “Certainly not!  How shall we who dies to sin live any longer in it?”  This is answering the above question.  There’s one thing that I believe God wants us to realize here though - SIN IS SIN!  We tend to think, “Well, I’m not doing any of the big sins - adultery, murder, and on and on.  Just because I’m upset with Joe Blow, that’s just a little sin - not that big a deal.”  No - SIN IS SIN!!!


Rom. 6:3 - “Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?”  Paul is referring to our spirits being baptized into Jesus and His death.  Our physical bodies are not dead and our souls are not dead.   But our ‘old man’ died with Christ.


Rom. 6:4 - “There, we were buried with Him through baptism unto death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life”  This is just further commenting on the fact that our salvation is complete because our spirit man died and was resurrected.  Therefore, we can walk in NEWNESS OF LIFE - or in the new creation that He made us.  But that doesn’t happen just automatically - we must believe it and receive it.


Rom. 6:5 - “For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection.”  This verse is really just connected to the sentence of verse 4.




Rom. 6:6 - Knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin.”  This is saying that our spirits (old man-sin nature) died with Christ and was resurrected unto newness of life.  Yet, this newness of life is not manifested in our flesh unless our minds are renewed.  As our minds are renewed (which is in our souls) we begin to think differently - like God thinks - about all kinds of things - thus there is a manifestation of the new life in our flesh (our actions, our words, our attitudes and on and on).  These facts will not change our experiences until we know them and begin to act accordingly.  IF WE DON’T KNOW IT, WE WON’T HAVE IT OPERATING IN OUR LIFE.  So many Christians go through their entire lives here on earth NOT KNOWING THESE TRUTHS AND THEREFORE NOT WALKING AS A NEW CREATION IN THEIR LIVES.  


I’m going to read verses 7, 8, and 9 together.  “For he who has died has been freed from sin.  Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more.  Death no longer has dominion over Him.”


Now - here’s verses 10 and 11 - “For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all, but the life that He lives, He lives to God.  LIKEWISE - YOU ALSO RECKON YOURSELVES TO BE DEAD INDEED TO SIN, BUT ALIVE TO GOD IN CHRIST JESUS OUR LORD.”


This makes it pretty clear.  When Jesus went through what He did - the death and resurrection - He didn’t go through it for Himself - He had never sinned.  He went through it for you and me.  When we accepted this wonderful truth - and believed and received it - we were born again.  Our old sin nature (our spirit) went with Him, and we got a whole new spirit (or nature).  


Now, just as we didn’t have much, if any, awareness of our spirit, before we were born again, mostly we don’t have much awareness of a new spirit until we take in His Word and really understand what happened, and what He actually did for us.  When we begin communicating with Him and open up to Him, we begin to learn how it all works.  


When we begin to get a handle on the fact that He doesn’t just make us do stuff His way - but has put all the ability to walk His way through life already in our new spirits - and it’s up to us to believe it and receive it - the same way we got saved - Transformation really begins to take place in our lives - AND THE NEW CREATION BEGINS TO OPERATE IN OUR THINKING, OUR ACTIONS, IN EVERY PART OF OUR LIVES, AND WITH EVERYBODY WE’RE AROUND.


Now, so many older Christians, first of all, haven’t been taught the truth about all of this, and they just have gone through life with everything about the same as always - except that they do know they’re going to Heaven.  


The reason He wanted me to talk about this today is so that we, His precious ones who are a little older than we used to be, can live the rest of our lives here on this earth the way He wants us to.  He doesn’t want us to wallow in our body’s problems along with handling all the other things in life like we always have - even before we had a relationship with the Lord.  He really does want these latter years to be good - not bad.  The only way that can take place is for us to REALLY GET ACQUAINTED WITH THE NEW CREATION THAT HE MADE IN US, WHEN WE WERE BORN AGAIN.  He doesn’t want us to be like so many of the older people in this world are - sad, sick, self-centered, frustrated, worried, lonely, kinda’ mad at life as it is for us now, and on and on.  


Self-centeredness is a huge problem for older people.  What about me?  What about me?  What about me?  Don’t I matter anymore?  Brothers and Sisters, the Lord wants us to see ourselves the way He sees us.  He loves us so much that He gave the best He had to pay a price we couldn’t pay - Yes, so we could be with Him for eternity - but also so that He could place everything we would ever need in our new born again spirit - THUS HE MADE US NEW CREATIONS.  In these years of our lives, we can be so in love with God, having a close communion with Him, understanding Him, talking to Him, praying for our kids and grandkids, and being a prayer warrior that everybody knows - “Man, if he or she is praying for me, I know I’m getting prayed for!!!!”


He wants us to really have such a close relationship with Him, that we don’t see ourselves the way a lot of older people see themselves - just kinda’ alone and taking up space without any purpose anymore.  However, we can’t do that, if we really don’t have a clue about our new identity.  He wants YOU TO REALLY, REALLY, REALLY BECOME ACQUAINTED WITH THE NEW YOU SO THAT YOU DON’T EVEN IDENTIFY WITH THE OLD YOU ANYMORE.


I have discovered that we not only need to read the Bible, but that, when we run across a verse that talks about who you are now, (like the ones I’ve been reading) you don’t just read it and go on.  You stop, and you read it again and again, and (this is really important) YOU READ IT OUTLOUD TO YOURSELF SO THAT YOUR OWN EARS HEAR YOUR VOICE SAYING THE SCRIPTURE ABOUT WHO YOU REALLY ARE NOW!!!!  


For instance, I have sat there, after reading these verses and said, “I really am a new creation.  Thank You Lord.  I’m not the old me anymore - I’m the new me.  I am Your heir.  I have Your wonderful ‘fruits of the Spirit’ in my spirit.  I can see the way You see, do what You do, love like You love, and Lord - help me see myself that way more and more and more.”  When your own ears hear your voice saying things like that, the truth of it comes more alive in you than ever before.  In fact, I find myself singing that little song all the time about being a new creation.


Brothers and Sisters, when you go through your days with those words becoming part of your life, you find yourself happier, more joyful, more in tune with God, and you even find your prayer life being different than it used to be.  You find yourself walking through your days actually ‘feeling’ like a child of the king, like an heir of God, like THE NEW CREATION THAT HE HAS MADE YOU.  




Scriptures used for this lesson

2 Corinthians 5:17

Proverbs 23:7

Romans 12:1-2

Galatians 5:22-23

Romans 6:1-11

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