Viewing entries tagged
newness

Brand New

By Brittany Kent

New - not existing before: made, introduced, or discovered recently or now for the first time

New year, new resolutions, new goals, new you.

I think in lyrics, so for all you Ben Rector fans...

 


I feel like for the first time in a long time I am not afraid,

I feel like a kid, I never thought I'd feel like this again.

When I close my eyes and don't even care if anyone sees me dancing.

Like I can fly and I don't even think of touching the ground.

It's the way that I feel when I'm with you

BRAND NEW

2 Corinthians 5:17

 

"Therefore if anyone is in Christ they are a new creation the old has passed away behold the new has come."

As a believer, this verse should bring so much hope! We are made new! The old is no more. Our sin is gone. Our shame is removed. Our identity is changed. We were once not a people, but now we are God’s people! Everyday is a new opportunity to grow closer to our Holy and Loving Dad!

However, if you're like me, you don't necessarily live in this freedom everyday. Lies from my past, fear of the future (or the unknown), and doubt in my identity are kept neatly shoved in a corner. Meanwhile, busyness and social media become my rhythm of life. I turn on autopilot, and I do the same things over and over again to avoid confrontation with the hope that I can live in comfortable “peace.”

Thankfully, God is loving, and His plans are better than mine. However, the truth is this monotony will continue to be reality apart from Christ. I can try to make changes. I can try to pull myself up by my bootstraps, but I will never be satisfied. I will never arrive.  The beauty of the gospel though is that in spite of sin (our missing the mark), God stepped into the picture through His Son Jesus. Jesus lived the perfect life, died the death we deserve, and rose to life. It is through Jesus' resurrection power that every believer has new life. (Ephesians 2, 1 Peter 1:3) God gives the official restart and offers it to everyone who would trust in His work and not their own.

 

I have learned a lot in the past year. I have moved back and forth between two states (8 months in Indiana and 4 in Alabama), transitioned into different ministry roles, switched jobs, traveled to new places, and made new friends. With anything new, it has not existed before. It is made or introduced. Last year, I remember sharing how much I hate change because I can’t control it, but this year is different. I have learned that change brings fresh perspective and a renewed sense of hope.

2 Corinthians 5:17 is a promise that is not dependent on our ability to make ourselves new. The verse says, “if anyone is in Christ, they are.” Not “they will be.” They are a new creation. The old has passed away. Behold, the new has come. God made me new and is still making me new. If it was up to me, I wouldn’t change. Change is hard. It requires work, and it takes consistency. However, Christ in me provides everything. Every day, God not only provides the opportunity to live out my new living identity, but He also gives me the strength to live in this identity.


Some days I feel like God is doing CPR, and other days I feel like He’s training me for a marathon, but the good news is the breath still comes from Him. God gives His Holy Spirit to those who believe in Him, and “ruah,” the Hebrew word for Spirit literally means breath.

Adopted into a New Family

Adopted into a New Family

By Ted Bourke

Well, here we are. In a flash, 2016 has come and gone like so many others and now we start afresh with 2017. With the start of a new year comes the desire for newness in a multitude of avenues. Resolutions about diets, exercising, reading, and other personal goals are set and attempted. The phrase "New year, new me" becomes a frequent mantra for people. People use the new year as a chance to start over, to make a change, to become new.

So how does this concept of newness coincide with our relationship with Christ? The answer is relatively straightforward. Ephesians 4:23-24 promises us that, in Christ, “ you (will) be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.”

We are made new in Him. He changes us, molds us, transforms us. The old is out, the new is in. Is it easy? Of course not - change is hard in whatever form it takes. But making a change and becoming new in Christ? It is so worth it. And we should never think that this only applies to young Christians who are newly on their journey with Christ. Everyone, no matter where they are, can find newness in Him - we should constantly be looking for ways to change and freshen our walk with Him.

Another way I look at this concept of newness is that when we commit ourselves to Christ, we are adopted into the great big family of God, thus beginning a new relationship with Him and with the people who have chosen to follow Him. Adoption is something very personal to my family - all four of my siblings are adopted from China. With each adoption, there came a sense of newness - new family, new environment, new life. There is this incredible feeling as I watched each one of my siblings experience that newness - a curiosity of what this new family would be like, an excitement over the possibilities, an apprehension of the unexpected. There was a chance to be made new with a new family, a family who loved and cared for them, a family who was ready to make that change alongside of them and be made new together as one.

This is how we are when we become new in Christ. We experience the same feelings as my siblings did - curiosity, excitement, apprehension. In my mind, God experiences the same incredible feelings I did each time I met my siblings whenever we give ourselves over to him and ask to be made new. It is so refreshing to know that He is in the business of second chances, of desiring us to make changes in our lives. Yes, it is exciting and, yes, it can fill us with apprehension. But, much the way my siblings had to rely on their new family to take care of them, we should find comfort in the fact that we have a God who will always be there for us

May this year be one of newness for all of us in whatever way you find it. I, for one, am excited about the the change happening for our church family. With our new building, we can reach and bring in so many more people. I firmly believe that, with the ground work that has already been laid, we can bring about a whole wave of newness in 2017 in this city.