Thursday, April 2, 2015

All Things Become New

     Most of us have heard people say, "I sure wish I had a 'do over' today" or "Maybe I should just go home and start the day all over!"  However, even if we had a chance to do things all over again, there is no assurance that the results would be different.  Nevertheless, we can be different and see things from a new perspective every day.  How does this happen?  The answer is simple.
     We are fast approaching Easter.  For some, this is merely a sign of spring, and the rebirth of plants, warmer days with more outside activities.  The Christian, however, sees Easter from a different perspective.  Not only is it a day of celebration as we rejoice in the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, but it is also about our own transformation that God has done in us.  God awakened us from
the death of sin so that we might be able to respond to the call of the Holy Spirit to put our faith in Jesus Christ and His completed sacrifice for our sins.  At that moment of humbling ourselves, confessing our sins and need for a Savior, God makes us new.  I love the description that Paul gives in his letter to the Corinthians (2 Corinthians 5:17):  "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come."  What an amazing statement!  We no longer are held in bondage to the sin, the habits and the chains that kept us from realizing who we are in Christ.
     While the change is instantaneous from the perspective of God, it takes us a while to realize that we are free.  The Enemy of our souls wants us to think we are still tied to the old way of living, but when we read the Word of God and think God's thoughts after Him, our minds become renewed.  Then, we understand that we are free in Christ to live according to His will for our lives.  What is His Will for us?  Jesus  tells us in John 10:10:  "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly."  While satan, the thief, comes to bring us down, Jesus, our Lord, comes that we might have a full life.  In addition, the Lord desires for us to be fruit bearers as listed in Galatians 5:22 that others might see our good works and glorify our Father in heaven.
     None of this is possible when we are living in the flesh.  We can do nothing in our own strength including saving ourselves.  We can never be good enough, holy enough or worthy enough to bring about the change in our life and thinking as Christ alone does.  He enables us to get up each day as a new creation with new dreams, ideas, and opportunities.  The old has passed away for us.  No more "Ground Hog Day" like the movie where the main character relieves a bad day over and over till he gets everything right.  No!  We are complete, whole and new in Christ.  With Him living in our hearts, each day is a new adventure full of promise no matter what our circumstances in life are at this time.  He makes all things new!
     Easter reminds us, as believers, of this new beginning.  Even as Christ rose from the dead, we shall also be raised up with Him.  Upon death, our souls will go into His presence for eternity.  What Good News!  And every morning brings new mercies!  Lamentations 3:22-23 tells us:  "22The LORD'S lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, For His compassions never fail. 23They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness."  If this is not encouraging, I do not know what is.
     If you have never experienced a new beginning in Christ, I pray that this Easter, you will ask Christ to give you a new heart and mind.  If we repent, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins!  On the other hand, if you are a believer, remember that every day is a new day with a fresh adventure in living awaiting us.  We must let go of the past and live to glorify our Lord.  May each one of us find new joy this Easter season!  Selah!

The photograph of the lily is provided by Matt Wade, photographer through creative commons copyright on Wiki commons  UpstateNYer  

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