Sunday, January 1, 2012

He Makes All Things New

Another year is over and a new one is beginning. If you're like most people, when January comes around you start reflecting on the previous year and making resolutions for change in the coming year. As you reflect, you may discover regrets such as...

  • things you said or did that you wish you hadn't
  • things you wished you said or did but didn't
  • mistakes you made and didn't learn from
  • relationships that suffered, became broken, or ended
  • choices you made that took you down a path you didn't want to follow
  • personal, professional, relational, financial, spiritual, or medical issues you intended to address but didn't
The end of a year can be a mixed bag for many of us. Bad things we've been going through can feel as though they are coming to an end, and hope that was once lost can be regained in the fresh start of a new year. But if you pay close attention, you will find (if you haven't already) that while some things are getting better, many others are actually getting worse. The world's economy is breaking down. People are treating one another worse than than ever. Cancer and illness abound. Natural disasters are striking at never before seen rates and magnitudes. Governments are unstable. Isolation and loneliness are increasing, despite technological advances that can bring people across the globe together.

If there was anything consistent in this world, it would have to be that it is in a constant state of decay. Every year that passes we grow that much closer to death and destruction. We risk experiencing devastation like we've never before seen. In the midst of all this despair shines one light of hope that is unceasing and ever-penetrating. In the darkness that is deepening, this light has been growing stronger and people's hearts have been hungering for a greater sense of the hope it brings.

Revelation 21: 1-7 says...

Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” And he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment. The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son.
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This one hope that we cling to is Jesus Christ, the one who makes all things new. Whatever your regrets of the past and whatever your fears of the future, Jesus resolves and redeems them all. His sacrifice on the cross nails those sins to die in your place, and His resurrection gives you new life and freedom from the chains that bound you. His promise, as quoted above in Revelation, ensures you that everything you experience in this life will be redeemed and remade - something good beyond your imagination will come of it.

And so there is hope - undying hope! I have many regrets from 2011 that I am giving to God to redeem, entrusting His promise that they have been forgiven, and choosing to live in the newness of life only He can offer and provide. Please, join with me in seeking to live 2012 in the peace, freedom, joy, comfort, grace, forgiveness, and love of God in Christ Jesus. Let the first experience you have in this new year be one of blessing simply from knowing Him and spending time in His presence. He will satisfy your deepest longings and quench your thirst, making all things new both now and forever in Heaven to come.

Happy New Year!


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