(Upward B-ball devotional 01/26/12)
You ever notice how many things in the grocery store are marked as "NEW & IMPROVED"? Sometimes I buy one of these "new" products, try it, and wonder what exactly the improvement is. The new improved version seems to be just like the old previous version I had been buying all along. New & improved doesn't always mean what I think it should.
Sometimes new & improved means new, but not necessarily better. Like a few years ago when the Coca-Cola company introduced a new & improved version of Coke. Well, it was new but it definitely wasn't improved. People hated the new version so much that it quickly disappeared and was replaced by old Coke.
I have figured out that occasionally new & improved has nothing at all to do with the actual product. What's new is the packaging outside. The box is different. It's bigger (or smaller) or a different shape or design. But while the outside has changed, what's inside is still the same.
But there are times when new & improved means exactly that. The soap cleans better, the cereal is healthier, the frosting is creamier, or the chips are crunchier. The product inside the packaging is new, improved and better! And that is a good thing.
New & improved can also be applied to our lives. We will try all sorts of things to make our lives new or better. We buy self-help books, new clothes, new cars. We try fad diets, expensive vacations, and new friends in an attempt to make our lives better. But these kind of things just change our outside - inside we are still the same.
Because only God has the power to make our lives truly new & improved. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come."
When Christ comes into our lives, he doesn't change our outside appearance. But he does change us. He makes us a new creaton on the inside. He changes our old sinful nature into something brand-new and totally improved. This changes our whole life - inside and out. And when God makes us new & improved it is always a change for the better and that is a very, very good thing.