I’ve been wrapping my mind around this topic for weeks and I keep circling around the idea of being “born again” - the essential belief that as soon as we repent of our sins we are made new in Christ. This is astounding, it’s dramatic, it’s purposeful, heck it’s glorious and like nothing else. We can’t recreate this experience and I am afraid that too often we have all forgotten what it means to rejoice in being new.
So what is it about beauty in the ‘new’ that is so important that I am writing about it? Is there a season in life where “new” is obvious and clear? I’m getting married soon - is that it? Is it moving to a new city because I’ve done that twice in the past 18 months and while it’s definitely new I feel like there is more personal awareness in myself for it being a struggle to get adjusted. Is it parenthood? Is it getting a new job, new friendships, starting to learn a new hobby, New Year’s resolutions? By now I’m sure you all get the point - what makes us feel ‘new’? Because in my short experience nothing has completely felt ‘new’, only different. Rather than being made brand new in midst of life's transitions we change, we grow with ourselves, make our lives better, try new things with the goal that the new will somehow fix us.
I don’t mean for this all to be a downer. I don’t mean to minimize the excitement we all go through in life’s journey. I for one am excited for plenty that life has to offer - marriage, parenthood, designing my first building (since I’m an aspiring architect), but I can’t place all my hope in what the world offers as new in my life. That would be foolish and more so heartbreaking. Instead what I’ve been convinced we all need to hear is that there is only one true place to be made ‘new’ in this life and that is with Jesus.
Nothing profound there is what I’m wrestling with as I want to make a profound point. Jesus is the new, it’s plainly obvious, but does that really diminish how important of a fact that is? As I confessed earlier though; I’ve lost what it felt like to be made new and if nothing else writing this has helped me see where I need to grow. These past two years though I’ve been on a dramatic journey where at many points I have felt ‘new’. Whether is it was a releasing from sin, finding true joy in the presence of Christ, or experiencing a miracle I have felt a dramatic shift in my life that wasn’t by my doing.
How do I know what is ‘new’ in my life? Is there a season of ‘new’ or is it a one time experience? I don’t think it’s any of that and I think I fall into this trap of believing it is. The enemy is tricky, and isn’t it sly of him to have us believe it’s a one time ordeal. To keep me in a place of guilt and shame rather than confident and full of my God-given potential. What I find in the words of Paul encourages me to see differently. He pleas with us to see our own glory given to us by our Father. He begs us to not to fall for the traps of the enemy, but clothe ourselves with the armor of God. Paul challenges us to not see ourselves as flawed sinful humans, but heirs with Christ who sin holds no power. Maybe beauty in the new isn’t just during a period of transition, but is something far greater to behold. Maybe it is a call to our daily lives not to be stagnant with our seasons, but seek to find our favor of being made new, heirs with Christ, everyday.
We all know this one, but c’mon it never gets old.
In Christ Alone by Kings Kaleidescope
Jesus you are refreshing, you are joy, you are my hope. You have made me new today, you will make me new tomorrow. Thank you for not keeping me down, but rather raising me up higher than I knew I could ever could ever go. May I keep that present in all my doings today and may the newness that I receive from you transpire to better love and make ‘new’ in the relationships and interactions I have today. To you be the Glory.
To be made new is to feel refreshed and alive! Most of us feel alive when we are outside enjoying God’s infinite creation. I just heard a statistic that the average American spends 93% of their typical week indoors. That translates to only 11 hours a week outside or even far less. I'm very guilty of this so let's change that this week… go for a walk and pray, mediate, and allow Christ to fill your spirit.
Can you ever go wrong with pizza? NO, you can’t. Here’s a killer picture of Barbeque Chicken Pizza to make your mouth water. (May I be so bold to recommend additional toppings of pineapple and jalapeños)
By: Josh Tindall