Newness in the New Year
Anything new is generally exciting and it makes many people happy and jubilant. A new job, new car, even a new dress brings much cheer to most of us, so is the New Year. But quite often this excitement slowly disappears and we begin to anticipate another opportunity when something new will occur in life. And this cycle goes on and on. Nevertheless, a believer in Christ enjoys newness in spiritual life not just occasionally, but on a continuous basis.
Christian life begins with a new birth which is from above and that results in number of new things in our life. John 1:12, 13; 3: 3, 7. God in a wonderful operation of the Holy Spirit implants within us a new heart, new spirit, new name, new dress and even a new song in our mouth. Cf. Ezek 36: 26; 11:19; Isa 62:2; Colo 3:10; Psa 40:3. No wonder Paul emphatically declares, ďTherefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.Ē 2Corinthians 5:17. Itís not just an improvement or repairing of the old sinful life but a totally new life in Christ.
Such transformed, new life of a believer is not just a once in a lifetime experience. It should be maintained and even continue to be renewed to a higher level as the days go by. Paul exhorts the Ephesian Christians, ďbe renewed in the spirit of your mindĒ. Eph 4:23 cf. Rom 6:4; 12:2. Itís something like the changes that is very much visible in a new born child. Itís definitely interesting to play with a toddler, but as times goes on, we do expect a measure of growth and its absence will only make us sad. Similarly a spiritual babe also has to keep on growing and any deficiency is abnormality.
Alas, many Christians have a story of their regeneration but their present state is not very much encouraging. The joy and zeal they experienced at their conversion is missing. That newness of life and freshness in spirit just disappeared. Of course, they continue to follow the faith, attend the activities, but just mechanically function. Testimonies have become dry, songs are simply a recitation, and prayers have become a ritual. For some others, the entire spiritual services have become a time of performance or entertainment. This is not the kind of Christian life the New Testament teaches us.
How is it possible to enjoy true freshness in our spiritual life on a daily basis? How can we stay renewed and refreshed constantly?
One of the most basic requirements is the regular meditation of Godís word . Colo 3:10. Itís more than a casual reading or a careful study. It is to ponder over a portion of the scripture and allow our mind to be occupied with the life-giving word. Cf. Heb 4:12; 1Peter 1:23. By such constant mediation, we digest the word of God and make it a part and parcel of our life. The ultimate result of this spiritual exercise is spiritual replenishment and rejuvenation.
No wonder the Lord commanded Joshua to meditate the law day and night for his success and prosperity. Jos 1:8. The psalmist too had the same thing in mind when he likened a saint who constantly meditates the law to a tree planted by the rivers of water. Not only they are fruitful but they also stay fresh and flourishing. Psa 1:2, 3.
As we have entered into another New Year let us prayerfully consider experiencing a higher level of newness and freshness in our spiritual life. Let us refuse to keep the status quo, and long for improvement and progress better than the past. Pray like the saints in the past that God may revive and revitalize us yet again. Psa 51:10; 85:6; 119: 88, 107.
Let us also realize the potential of Godís word to transform us and value it more than anything else. Psa 119: 72, 103, 127. Find pleasure and delight in the meditation of Godís precious word. Then we shall surely experience such newness in our inward parts and freshness in our outlook and appearance which we have never seen in the past. Cf. Psa 119: 50, 93.
New creature 2Cor 5:17
New Heart Ezek 36:26
New song Psa 40:3
New food 1Pet 2:2
New Name Reve 2:17
New Covenant Heb 8:8
New Way Heb 10:20
New Mercies Lam 3:23
New fruit Ezek 47:12
New Home Reve 21:1
London businessman Lindsay Clegg told the story of a warehouse property he was selling. The building had been empty for months and needed repairs. Vandals had damaged the doors, smashed the windows, and strewn trash around the interior.
As he showed a prospective buyer the property, Clegg took pains to say that he would replace the broken windows, bring in a crew to correct any structural damage, and clean out the garbage.
"Forget about the repairs," the buyer said. "When I buy this place, I'm going to build something completely different. I don't want the building; I want the site."
Compared with the renovation God has in mind, our efforts to improve our own lives are as trivial as sweeping a warehouse slated for the wrecking ball. When we become God's, the old life is over (2 Cor. 5:17). He makes all things new. All he wants is the site and the permission to build.
Ian L. Wilson.
ó Ian L. Wilson.
ďTake the first step in faith. You donít have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.Ē
_____________________ Ė Martin Luther King Jr.
ďItís not the years in your life that count; itís the life in your years.Ē
_________ Abraham Lincoln