A New Year!!!
Today’s uplift: He Makes all Things New! What does this mean, in practical terms to make all things new? How is this experienced? What does it feel like to become "a new creation"? Is it scary, or like an out-of-body experience? What does it mean to be regenerated, and be given a "heart of flesh" as the prophet says in Ezekiel 36:26?
Becoming a new creation is not like brainwashing; there is nothing frightening about it. It is more like being restored to health. When Adam and Eve sinned, human beings lost their close connection to God. Regeneration restores that connection, making it possible for God's Spirit to indwell us and flow through us as it was meant to. It is the core of how our Lord and Savior loves and feel about us!!
But this year instead of just making resolutions, how about a New mindset? He truly does make all things new even your mind if you allow Him to take the wheel! We have certainly had a different kind of a year. We experienced a Pandemic for the first time in our lives; unemployment is through the roof; we dealt with racial injustices; protesting; higher than normal prices for food; shortages of paper items (you know what I mean) and a host of other things went on this year! But through it all God has kept us!
As we approach a New Year it is oh so fitting to re-examine ourselves, how we think especially for those of you who have been alone during this Pandemic! This has indeed been a troubling year, but guess what… God is still on the throne and He still keeps all of His promises! Because of Jesus we are made new! We are a new creature in Him!
Here are a few things that can help you to be on your way to a new mindset:
In our life’s search for a place of belonging, we start with the notion that in order to truly belong, we must first be true to our self. It is important to share our thoughts, feelings, beliefs and preferences in a kind and confident manner without conveying any sense of judgment or harm to others. This will mean that most of our statements should start with “I”. “I” statements convey our experience in life without contrasting that experience with someone else’s thoughts, feelings, or point of view. Being self-defining is the best way to claim and display that you are a person who values themselves and that you have something to offer to others.
In truth, it’s nearly impossible to remain non-anxious, so let’s use mildly anxious. Whenever we declare our truth and state our position, a certain degree of anxiety will often follow, especially in the presence of those important to us. Whenever we make ourselves vulnerable, we risk disappointment, disapproval or rejection. But if we can remain calm and non-reactive, we increase the likelihood that others will also remain calm. If we get anxious or defensive, others most likely will also, and this is when things can get heated or hurtful. By managing our anxiety and reactivity, we stay connected and stand a better chance of following through on our intentions to start the year in a new way.
In our culture today, we often hear about the importance of being “present” and “living in the moment”. These goals lead to a state where our presence is available and we are aware of our own needs and those of others. In the face of rising anxiety, it is difficult to remain in a calm, engaged presence with others. Our first impulse is to react in ways that we used to. But we’re adults and we’re responsible for our own actions and reactions, sometimes we react with anger, aggression or tears. Sometimes we withdraw to our room or plug into the TV or Social Media or whatever provides a way of escaping the anxiety and discomfort we experience. By staying fully present, we can avoid becoming aggressive or withdrawing from loved ones and, instead, remain responsive to them. This intention creates the best opportunity for a sense of connection and belonging.
As we begin the New Year, let us resolve to maintain this new mindset that will help empower us to be true to our own sense of self, while also remaining kind and engaged with all whom we encounter.
The word new is somewhat hard to define. It could be something that has never been used before; or something fresh; of a kind now existing or appearing for the first time; recently made, created, or invented; first-hand, not yet used by anyone else; replacing existing one ( I love this definition), replacing or supplementing something of the same kind that already exists. This last definition applies to a new covenant, a new life, a new creation, a new birth and a new mindset - all of which we have through Jesus.
We have a “New and Living Way” Hebrews 10:20 “By a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body”. It is an access to God never enjoyed before Christ died on the Cross and rose from the dead.
We have become that “New Man” in Christ Ephesians 2:15 “By setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace”.
The new man responds positively to God’s righteousness and holiness and the new man brings to each believer a renewal of the “image of God” within. We have a “New Creature” relationship with God never enjoyed before. This new relationship is based upon the process of propitiation. This is the basic idea of appeasement, or satisfaction, specifically towards God. Propitiation is a two-part act that involves appeasing the wrath of an offended person and being reconciled to Him whereby the work of Christ takes our sins and imputes His righteousness to us. It is a magnificent act through which we stand before Almighty God, as if we have never sinned.
Even with our newness we can’t fall into the trap thinking that we’ve arrived”. We tend to look down on those who are still in the bondage of sin. We forget so quickly that we were once there. We call ourselves not associating with these types of people while God’s whole desire is to reach out to them so He can save them the same as He did for you.” But when you have a renewed mind you see things as a disciple of Christ and not judgmental!
A New Covenant: Way back in the Old Testament, in the book of Jeremiah, it was prophesied that the Lord would make a new covenant. In fact, it is the only passage in the Old Testament that the term "new covenant" is used. Jeremiah 31:31-32 “The time is coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah. It will not be like the covenant I made with their forefathers when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt”.
According to Hebrews 8:7, the reason the old covenant was replaced was: “For if there had been nothing wrong with that first covenant, no place would have been sought for another”. It is here in the book of Hebrews that the prophecy from Jeremiah 31 is repeated. In Hebrews 8:13 it explains further, “By calling this covenant "new", he has made the first one obsolete, and what is obsolete and aging will soon disappear”
New Life: Is it really possible to have a new life and a new mindset, no matter what age you are? YES! Through Jesus and because of the covenant that was made by God, you can have a new life! Throughout scripture this miraculous event is sometimes referred to as “a new creation” or “a new birth”. The most well-known of these scriptures comes from 2 Corinthians 5:17: If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation, the old has gone, the new has come!
Study the Word so that you can fully understand how much God loves you and how much He wants to bless you and give you an abundant life. You truly don't have to stay stuck in your old ways, your old way of thinking, your old habits - with Jesus, your life can become new! Revelation 21:5 “And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold I make all things new”.
Overcomer, for me newness in Christ has made all the difference in my life. He took me from having low self-esteem, from an abusive home, from having a destructive mindset, from feeling like nothing and saved me by His grace, placed me on solid ground, gave me a purpose and a destiny and gave me the promise of Heaven with Him. He truly makes all things New! Happy New Year!
Be Optimistic; Be Open Minded; Be an Over comer!!