Sunday, January 01, 2006

CrossTies Devotional Article For January 1, 2006

I Feel Like A New Man
By Bill Denton

Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. (2 Corinthians 5:17, NASB95)

See each day as a chance for something new to happen, something you never experienced before.   --  Sadie and Bessie Delany, Christian Reader, Vol. 33, no. 2.

Watch what happens during the last week of one year and the first week of the new year.  People start talking about making resolutions, others get out their “goal setting” lists, and a few dispense with the formalities and just set out to improve themselves.  There is something about a New Year that triggers brain cells to gear up, make plans, and do better.

I’ve got nothing against this at all.  In fact, I sometimes make New Year’s resolutions.  Not that I’m necessarily any more successful at achieving them than the next fellow, it’s something I feel compelled to do.  The New Year blows in with all sorts of promise and hope and opportunity.  Why not take advantage of it?

Christians should be thoroughly immersed in “newness.”  When we became a Christian, we put off the old man and put on the new one.  For us, old things passed away and new things were ushered in.  Our baptism brought is into a new life as we experienced the passing of the old one.  We live in relationship with God through the new covenant based on Jesus Christ.  We practice a new commandment as we love one another as Jesus loved us.  We are the new Jerusalem, the bride made ready for her husband.  A new song is on our lips.  Even the future is painted with scenes of a new heaven and a new earth.  We have been renewed by the Holy Spirit, whose work involves the renewing of our minds, and transforming us from a sin-stained wretch to saint.  Even as our physical bodies are wearing out, the inner man is being renewed daily.  That’s a lot of “new” going on!

The point is simply this:  Every day you wake up, God is at work in your life to make possible new things.  Some of these new things you’ve never experienced before.  They are new in the sense of time.  Others compare to things you’ve experienced many times before, but they are new in the sense that they are renewed, made better, improved, better equipped, or simply made possible.  You don’t have to wait for the New Year to show up.  This is all happening to you, for you, and in you every moment you experience life.

I suppose New Year resolutions and goals could fit into our effort to participate in all this newness.  Surely, there is something about the season that encourages these things.  What I want you to see, though, is that each day the Lord blesses you with 24-hours worth of new.  Then it starts over again the next day.  Someone was once having one of those superb days of good health and great blessing.  He said to his friend, “I feel like a new man!”  In the truest sense, that’s us.

© Copyright  2005, Dr. Bill DentonAll Rights Reserved.Articles may not be reprinted in any "for profit" publication without further permission by the author. Articles may be freely distributed via e-mail, reprinted in church bulletins or in other non-profit publications without further permission. Please keep this copyright and Web Site information intact with copied articles. Articles are sent originally to subscribers only. You may have received a forwarded or reprinted copy.
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