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11/15/18

Feeling stuck?

...Put on the new self, created after the likeness of God
(Ephesians 4.24)

In the fall of 1997, I had been married for three years. I was a few years into a Master of Divinity program at Bethel Seminary. I was doing ministry, and I was a teaching assistant to a prof that was quickly becoming a mentor to me—and I needed a mentor, a discipler!  

In all of this, I was quickly realizing that some of the struggles, temptations, and sinful behaviors I had prior to being married were not going away and they were painfully affecting my relationship with my wife.

I felt stuck. I had struggled so long that I felt like I would never change.

But God worked and gave me hope in an unexpected way.

My mentor invited me to go with him on a day trip up to Duluth. He would be preaching at a former student’s pastoral installation service, and he asked me to join him. I hadn’t visited Duluth, and so the opportunity to visit Duluth in the fall was very appealing. Add on top of that, there was a promise of visiting Tobi’s in Hinckley—I was hooked.

As we drove, we talked about all kinds of life. Eventually,Tom asked me about a research project I was doing on Ephesians 4. Now I don’t remember everything we discussed about the passage and the truth it talks about. But one truth shot deep into my heart that day. He told me exactly what my heart needed to hear. He told me, Ephesians 4.22-24 teaches that we can change.

Because of Jesus, we don’t have to live in a defeating struggle, we can change. Jesus is committed to our change.

These words gave me the hope that I needed. I didn’t have to stay stuck in defeated struggle. I could walk in a new way of life. I could change. Jesus would change me.

I’m not sure if you feel stuck today. Or, if you feel defeated in the struggle against sin. The gospel reminder today is that you can change. Jesus has saved you for change. He has saved you to be changed to look like him in attitude and action. You have all the resources of heaven on your side. The change may be slow, God is patient. But the power to change is there.  

Tim Porter

Lead Pastor for the Mission
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