Debbie Salter Goodwin
"When someone asks, "What's new?" we immediately think of something we bought or changed. However, really new is beyond what we can buy or change.
We see old too quickly: the wrinkles in our face, the house that needs painting, the job that has soured, the future that no longer pulls, the relationship that has no spark.
Old is something we want to get rid of, but it takes a lot of work and often more money than we can afford.
So when Paul says we become new creations “in Christ” shouldn't we treat this as the announcement we have been waiting for? The answer to getting rid of old? The eternal fountain so many have looked for?
God, the only authentic innovator who truly creates what couldn’t happen without His breath and power; offers us what we cannot find anywhere else. He gave us Jesus, God-man on earth to demonstrate what “new” looks like, lives like, loves like. And then God offers us an invitation to new we cannot find with a new cream, a new job, a new house, or anything else we desperately call new.
All the new is “in Christ.”
It means that the heart transformation that occurs in salvation creates by God’s innovative style, something that didn’t exist before. God’s new creates an appetite for everything that Jesus shared at the cross. But before the new can plant its seeds and take root and grow into the character of Christ in your life, everything that does not belong to God’s new must die.
The good news about finding new in Christ is that it is an ongoing, whole-life process. That’s why God’s new is never a one-time honor. In salvation we offer God free reign in our heart. In exchange, God brings abundant new to replace perspective and priorities. We can’t think ourselves differently into His new. We surrender ourselves to His new. However, if we take back control about what stays or goes in our life, we lose God’s new and return to our best efforts.
“In Christ.” That’s where all the new is, all the hope, and all the growth.
These forty days give us chance to evaluate life from the perspective of God’s new, not ours. We look for what God wants to be new, not what we want. Hard as it is to give up our own pursuit for circumstantial new, God’s new will serve us better, longer, and deeper.
And the best news is that God's new, stays new. Nothing else you call new can do that!
Scripture to Guide Your Way to the Cross . . .
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! 2 Corinthians 5:17
What have you been looking for that God’s new can’t bring? What have you held onto that God’s new wants to replace?
All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 2 Corinthians 5:18
Why does God require that we be reconciled to through Christ before we can become agents of reconciliation in the world?
Where do you need to be God’s agent who is willing to take first steps in bringing reconciliation to some broken relationship?
But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him. Luke 15:20
In the parable of The Prodigal son, how was the father an agent of reconciliation? How is this also a picture of God’s work of reconciliation with us?