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Breaking off the hulls
May 2, 2011
by Pastor Al Jones, New Life Assembly of God Church, Cokato

Spring is a wonderful time of discovery. There’s probably not one of us that isn’t in awe as we watch the coming of re-birth this time of year.

I was driving down a street by our home just a few days ago, and noticed a brown coating on the tar. It was the hulls from the buds that had fallen off the tree. As spring continues, of course, we will see more and more of this residue.

I was reminded that our lives are to replicate this kind of “budding.” Paul told us in the book of Ephesians 4: “If indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.” The words “put off” that are mentioned here mean, by interpretation, to put away, cast off, lay apart, or put away.

The imagery is so important. Just as the trees shed the hulls covering the new leaves trying to sprout, we are to shed the old nature of our flesh to uncover the new nature of Christ in us. The problem is, we can get used to the way the old nature fits us, and find ourselves unwilling to discover the “new look” Jesus has for us.

It’s also logical that once the hulls have fallen off, they are not to be used again – just as the transformation by Christ should change us so drastically that there is no chance to go back to what we used to be.

Our walk with Christ is one that never goes back to what once was. Jesus told us very plainly in Luke: “No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”

The Lord desires that we are people willing to accept His new nature – and new possibilities. As Paul said in Philippians – “Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”

Let us press on together and discover what wonderful things God has in store for us who are willing to “break off the hulls.”