12-31-18 I Am New Again Rev 21:5
We end this year of “I Am” statements the same way we started it, and yet not in the same place we started. I will explain, but first listen to the words of Jesus:
“He who was seated on the throne said, ‘I am making everything new!’ Then he said, ‘Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.’” Rev 21:5 NIV
I am new all over again. I was watching some science type show and heard them say, since our bodies are always growing new cells, every 10 years we essentially have a new body. Our bodies are constantly breaking down and building back up again. For instance, the skin we see on the surface of our body has actually been growing from the inside out for the last 27 days…and it continues growing so in the next 27 days we will have a new covering, for better or worse. There are many factors that will help us grow healthy skin cells, but if we ignore them, we can grow unhealthy skin too. Either way, we will have a new body. Now I know it sure doesn’t feel that way! I also am fully aware that our body’s cells do not actually grow at the same rate, so our bodies are not literally new, but you get the idea. We are in a constant state of renewal and this should also be true about every part of our lives, spirit, soul and body. For better or worse, the choices we have made this past year have made us a new person. If we are seeking to deepen our relationship with God and learning to work with Him more, then we are becoming a better human. If not…well, if not we’re not becoming a better human.
I am new again. This past year has been a very challenging year for our family. But here’s the thing: because it was filled with trials, I did a lot of growing up. The hard things of life tend to make for very fertile soil. I really am a different person than I was back in January in every area of my life. For example, the old, January me would never have considered changing the way I eat- I was a carb junkie and never even thought of living any other way. This new, December me rarely eats pasta, potatoes or rice, but opts instead for a nice spinach and avocado salad. What?! Who am I? Oh, that’s right! God has made me new again. My dietary plan has altered so much this past year that I am literally eating like I never have before. Need another example? The old, January me was patting myself on my back as I began making time in my schedule to read one book a month. This new, December me now reads four books a month which is expanding my knowledge on many topics impacting my Abundant Life. I am loving this new routine I have begun especially because it settles me down before bedtime and helps me sleep more deeply. One more example? The old, January me wanted to write a book, but to be honest, I did not think I could ever really do it. This new, December me is getting ready to publish my first book with plans for the next one already on the back burner. Are you getting the idea? As we choose to grow in Christ, to mature according to His Will and Grace, we do become new again. We can continue to change and become better humans as we work with God. We can choose to keep being renewed as we choose to make new, better habits with God’s help and guidance. If not…well, if not we’re not becoming a better human.
I want to be new again. Here’s another truth: if you are not purposely moving forward in your life, you are moving backwards in it. In other words, if you’re not improving, you’re diminishing- if you’re not growing, you’re dying. Don’t agree? Is that too “black and white” for you? I get it. We all like to think that we live in this “gray area,” where we are neither doing anything good nor anything bad, but that’s just not true. Let me explain how God showed me the truth in this concept. I was on the treadmill one day, thinking about this idea, when I sensed the Lord say, “What would happen if you stopped walking right now?” Of course, if I stopped moving, I would have quickly rolled to the back of the machine, fallen off and, probably, hurt myself! God was showing me that time is like that treadmill, it is constantly moving forward. So when we think that we are not harming ourselves by not improving ourselves, we are wrong because life keeps moving forward, my Friends. Either we are moving with it or falling behind. Either we are improving ourselves and becoming more and more like Jesus, or we are becoming more and more set in our old, MMI self, reflecting this self-centered world instead. We must continue to change on purpose and the way we do this is by deepening our relationship with God so we can follow God’s leading. When we do this, we do improve and become better humans. If not…well, if not we’re not becoming a better human.
I will be new again. This New Year, I hope we do not just make resolutions, but we resolve to deepen our relationship with God Who will give us the power, insight and grace to bring those “better changes” to life. As we choose to work with God, more and more, He really does make everything new! It is trustworthy and true that God desires for us to have, enjoy and share the Abundant Life. His Plan for us is, not to destroy us, but to prosper us and give us hope and a good future. (Jer 29:11) The question is do we really desire it? If you are ready for this better life, it starts with your inner life. Make a choice to grow spiritually and God will change you from the inside out…just like our skin grows from the inside out. And maybe, just maybe, 27 days from now, we can see that we are a whole new, better human. This pleases our Lord, and that is certainly my goal each and every year! How about you? Then won’t you join me?
Until we meet again, keep lifting your eyes to God, He’s closer than you think!
PS I pray each of you has a Blessed and Healthy New Year!
<>< Peace, Diane