Recently, I received a challenge to consider what word God has for me this year. I didn’t want to live an entire year with a word my brain concocted. The word would take up residence for twelve full months. For a word to occupy that much time, I had to depend on our heavenly Father to hand it down. After all, He is the only one with insight as to what lay ahead. So I prayed.
The word God responded with is NEW.
It is not solely a word for me. The word new is for all of us in some way or other.
Today’s Monday’s Marinate we begin to look at this little word – three simple letters with the power to transform lives.
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.”—Revelation 21:5 ESV
I wasn’t taking liberties before when I said this word applies to you as well. You and I and everyone and everything else are all being made new. God makes ALL things new.
He instructed me to claim it and write it down. God makes all things new. Bury that truth deep within yourself.
I must confess. When I first got this word, I was a little disappointed. New? Why not flourish (like last year)? That was a great word! Or shine (like one of my friend’s words)? New!? I wouldn’t win any Scrabble games with such few letters. But the game of life has a different set of rules. We can win when we embrace these three little letters. N E W
New means change. Sometimes change is good.
New takes us on an adventure. I like adventures. Anyone else want to explore something exciting?
New creates growth, like flowers popping up in spring after they have hidden beneath the surface all winter long.
God’s Word is trustworthy and true. He is faithful to uphold His promises contained in His Word.
You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.— Ephesians 4:22–24 NIV (emphasis added)
The initial disappointment I felt upon receipt of the word new stemmed from these thoughts, “I already KNOW I am a new creation in Christ. I KNOW I am not who I once was. I KNOW I have been freely forgiven for my sin.”
I knew it. But did I believe it? Hmmm. Interesting.
Do you know it? Do you believe it?
The Apostle Paul is talking to believers in our Scripture above—people who know Jesus—when he says “you were taught”. Perhaps you never were taught. Maybe something new for you would be to learn, who is Jesus?
I encourage you to seek Him, to learn more about Him. Open the Bible and let Him introduce Himself to you. God’s Word promises that when we seek Him, we will find Him (see Deuteronomy 4:29). He will teach you along the way. How do I know? He taught me when I didn’t know Him. And although I do know Him now, He continues to teach me. Because as much as I know Him, there is much more of Him to know.
I pray that your heart is open to the wisdom He placed in the Bible. I pray that the words He left there speak intimately to you as you grow in the awareness that He is real to you and for you. He died on the cross for the forgiveness of all our sin.
All, as in God forgives each and every one of us.
All, as in God forgives us for every sinful thing we have ever done (or will do).
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. —1 John 1:9 NIV (emphasis added)
If we confess our sin, we are forgiven.
If we confess our sin, we are purified from all unrighteousness.
Here’s something interesting for us to think about.
Do you believe you’ve done something beyond God’s level of forgiveness? If that were true (and it’s not), it would mean your sin held more power than God Himself. Impossible. God is all-powerful (see 2 Corinthians 4:6-7, Hebrews 1:3).
I’ll be the first to say, I don’t deserve the level of forgiveness God gives. But that’s what makes God’s forgiveness such a precious gift. That’s God’s mercy, wrapping us up in a big, sacrificial red bow.
Imagine what our lives would be like if we walked, heads held high, in the full knowledge and authority of the level of forgiveness we have been given. Complete. Complete forgiveness through Christ. Well, that would be something new for many of us as we fully accepted the gift God has given us. What would happen if we embraced a mind-set change like that?
Recovery from guilt and shame. Those sentiments are from the enemy. Satan wants us to think we are defeated. He tries to diminish our effectiveness by plaguing us with seeds of doubt, sometimes even subconscious seeds unseen by us but there none-the-less. Regardless of what we have done in our lives, we get to claim victory in and through Christ—not because of us, because of Him!
Revel in that thought. Wrap yourself in that truth like never before. Let it warm you from the inside out, and then the outside in. Don’t let go of the thought until it becomes part of who you are and the first response you speak aloud any time the enemy tries to tell you otherwise.
We get to try something else new. We can choose to walk around in the freedom Christ gives us when we answer the enemy with a rebuttal from God’s Word, the place where freedom and truth reign. We can say this in response to any seeds of doubt the enemy would like to sow…
God’s Word says, if I confess my sins, I am forgiven and made righteous. I am pure. I am holy. I am new.
We are made new the moment we accept Christ into our hearts as our Lord and Savior. We are pure. We are forgiven, fresh as a flower with an aroma pleasing to our Father. Heaven rejoices at every new soul claimed for Christ for all eternity (see Luke 15:7).
Let God’s forgiveness flood over you as you listen to this song by the Newsboys, “You Are My King” (Amazing Love).
Not only are we made new the moment we accept Christ, He continues to transform us more and more into His likeness. We’ll look at the change process God guides us through in future posts. His hand carries us through the healing process, because we are all broken in some way. He redeems our lives. He heals our hurts. He forgives our sin. He makes us new each and every day.
QUESTONS & ACTIONS
- How would you describe forgiveness?
- If you are a Christ-follower, consider a sin God has forgiven you for. Thank Him for His free gift of forgiveness.
- What is a gift Christ has given you (besides forgiveness) as a result of His saving grace?
- If you do not know Jesus, you can receive His free gift of forgiveness for ALL your sin. Here is a prayer you can pray right now.
Jesus, please forgive me for all my sin. I want you to lead my life and heal my heart. Help me to embrace all that is new and possible through You. Thank You for Your free gift of forgiveness! I can’t wait to see all the beautiful new places you lead me to and guide me through. In Jesus’ name, amen.
(If you prayed the above prayer, make sure to find a really great church that teaches from the Bible. It’s important that you connect with other Christians who can help you learn and grow.)