Tuesday, March 29, 2016

New

Easter and spring are about new: A new creation, a new life, a resurrected life, a new song, a new job or baby or a new way of living life. I am choosing to look at life afresh or in a new way this year. Easter brings the hope of a new life in Jesus Christ who has risen from the grave. Perhaps you don’t connect to that thought like some members of my own family. They say Christianity is OK, but don’t give me any of this Jesus stuff. That is very painful and sad to hear, because it points not to new life but to death. Yes, not recognizing the fact that Jesus died and rose from the grave for each of us is to disregard God’s plan for you and to seek your own life where you are captain or driver. It’s all about “me” you might say. You can’t have it both ways; either God or you are in charge. So I’m singing a new song this spring.

In 2014 I wrote a book called Great is God’s Faithfulness. It is based on the psalms and the theme of faithfulness. Psalm 40 deals with faith persevering in trial:
I waited patiently for the Lord;
    He turned to me and heard my cry. 
He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
    out of the mud and mire;
He set my feet on a rock
    and gave me a firm place to stand. 
He put a new song in my mouth,
    a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear the Lord
    and put their trust in Him.

God is faithful to lift us out of the pits of life and put a song of praise in our mouths and heart. It is the image of the resurrection of Eastertide. It is new life in Christ, who died for you and me. He pulled me out of a death spiral into new life when I was in the lowest place even though I was a hospital CEO. He pulled me from death again when given a mortal diagnosis by world-renowned physicians. He miraculously healed me when they did not know what to do. I sang a new song. What about you? Perhaps you have not had a miraculous healing, but God can still do it.

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
    for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
    great is your faithfulness. 
I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion;
    therefore I will wait for him.” 
The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him,
    to the one who seeks him; 
it is good to wait quietly
    for the salvation of the Lord (Lamentation 3:22-25).

This is a new dawn; the sun is rising as I look out the window on a new day. The birds are singing in hope. This again is about God’s faithfulness to those who seek and wait for Him. Many times in the psalms David speaks of a new song that is the new covenant in God through Jesus Christ and His life, death and resurrection. The last reference to this new song is the one sung by the 144,000 Jews around the throne in heaven praising Jesus in Revelation 14. If there are any Jewish people reading this now, keep your eyes and hearts open for your redemption draws neigh.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” (2 Corinthians 5:17). The promises of God are perfect and new. He has taken away your sin and given you His righteousness.  Just as God clothed Adam and Eve with new clothes in Genesis, He wants to do the same for you and me. “Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh” (Romans 13:14). God is saying, put off the old self and put on the new that does not gratify the fleshly desires, but those of God. This is a renewing, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will” (Romans 12:1-2).

The entire Bible is about God’s covenant relationship with us from old to new. The Book of Revelation ends with the coming of the New Heaven and New earth when Christ comes to make all things new again. He is returning soon to do just that. So be ready. “Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”

This is the great promise; God is coming again to make all things new. But first we must trust in Him, be renewed.


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Thanks for sharing your thoughts.