Happy New Year!!!
Today’s uplift: He Makes all Things New! There’s a song that says it all, the lyrics simply says” You thought I was worth saving, so you came and changed my life. You thought I was worth keeping, so you cleaned me up inside. You thought I was to die for, so you sacrificed your life; so I could be free, so I could be whole, so I could tell everyone I know"! This song is everything! It is the core of how our Lord and Savior loves and feel about us!!
Yes, He thought we were worth all of that and then some! He truly does make all things new. Each of us who have met Jesus at some point in his/her life knows the meaning of “NEW.” As we approach a New Year it is so fitting to re-examine ourselves and know who we are because of Him. We are a new creature in Him!
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 - all of which we have through Jesus.
We have a “New Name” Revelation 2:17 “Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who is victorious, I will give some of the hidden manna. I will also give that person a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to the one who receives it". It identifies us with Christ Himself.
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.
Let’s take a look at an excellent example of new, a man whose life was completely changed because of Jesus. His name was Levi A.K.A. Matthew … and he worked as a Tax Collector for the Roman government. This occupation labeled him an outcast among his own people. Then along came a young Jewish rabbi named Jesus and the rest is history. Matthew describes this life-changing moment in one verse: As Jesus went on from there,
he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector "Follow me", he told him, and Matthew got up and followed him. (Matthew 9:9).
From that moment, everything changed for Matthew. He had a new vocation, a new group of friends, and a completely new purpose for his life, (does this sound like YOU?). One big change is that Matthew went from being an accountant to an author. He eventually wrote the first of the Gospels. The first thing Matthew did as a follower of Jesus was to throw a big party. Matthew records that a bunch of other tax collectors and “sinners” attended his party, along with Jesus’ disciples. So, here Jesus was, sitting in the home of a hated tax collector,
surrounded by a bunch of notorious sinners, and who should show up to harass him but the ever-present Pharisees.
As soon as they got the chance, they complained to Jesus’ disciples: Why is your leader partying with a bunch of sinners? Now these religious leaders would NEVER enter the home of a tax collector. But obviously they couldn’t criticize Jesus for partying with sinners if they were at the same party. So they were probably hanging around outside the house, observing the party from a safe distance. But eventually someone passed the complaint along to Jesus. On hearing this, Jesus said, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.”
Then he quoted a scripture from Hosea 6:6. “For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings”. The Pharisees knew this scripture very well … but they didn’t GET it. They cared nothing about calling sinners back to God. All they cared about was keeping themselves ceremonially clean and untainted by the lowly riff-raff. They were like doctors who won’t go near a sick person because they are afraid
they might catch the disease.
Some Christians today fall into the same trap when we think that we have arrive. 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 the “riff-raff” while God’s whole desire is to reach out to the “riff-raff” so He can save them from their “riff-raff-itus. Matthew 9:12-13 On hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice. For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”
The emphasis of those religious leaders was making themselves acceptable by strict adherence to the law. Jesus presented an entirely NEW thing. In this New Covenant, God extended GRACE to even the worst of sinners. The greater the sin, the greater the application of GRACE. Matthew knew what it meant to have a completely NEW life because of Jesus. I think it’s significant that the first teachings this new follower records tell us that
Jesus came to earth to make all things new!
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, 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!
This new creation is also mentioned in Galatians when the Apostle Paul is trying to talk to those who were arguing about Old Covenant theology vs. New Covenant theology: Neither circumcision nor un-circumcision means anything, what counts is a new creation”. Galatians 6:15
In I Peter 1:3 this new creation is referred to as a new birth: “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” God obviously wants what is best for His people. Just as He made a new and better covenant, He wants us to have a new and better life. Out with the old, in with the new!
But how you ask? All you have to do is receive Christ as your Lord and Savior and ask Him to forgive your sins. Study His word so that you can fully understand how much He 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 filthy 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”.
Over comer, 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 feeling like nothing and saved me by His grace, placed me in the ministry, and gave me the promise of Heaven with Him. He makes all things New! Happy New Year Family!
Be Optimistic; Be Open Minded; Be an Over comer!!