12 January 2015

Behold, All Things are Made New

Why does this happen every new year?  

Everyone is all eager to plan things.....

to set goals.....to improve themselves.....


that new calendar with nice, clean boxes
 gives them some sort of hope or something.

 You know,

that this year will be the best year ever!

or better than last year, thank goodness!

or just not messed up.....yet.

I admit it.

I am one of those who tends to look backwards and not forwards.  
I mean,  you can  know stuff if it already happened....

well, sometimes you can.

But.....I love history....and antiques.....
and well, anything that has a story.....
and stories are things that have 
already happened, aren't they?

it also translates into a point of view. 
 I think it is part of a personality. 
 It takes all sorts of people 
to make the world go round as they say.

And, looking back
 can cause a person a heap of trouble.  
I'm sure you know what I'm talking about.  

If you are one of those people, 
you are familiar with feelings of regret or nostalgia or longing....

and if you are not one of those people, 
you don't know what all the fuss is about, 
because your new calendar has all sorts of 
exciting things already written on it.

The temptations and pitfalls of looking back 
are so many and so obvious,
 that I will only mention one of them.  

You can't go back.  

If you want to go back,
 sometimes bad things will happen to you.....
like it did to Lot's wife.  

She was turned into a salt statue, 
you'll remember. 
(Genesis 19)

She didn't want to leave her home and couldn't quite believe God would destroy it,
 and so she looked back.  
Seems a bit harsh to us, 
until we realize that looking back involves 
a lack of trust 
that God holds the future.

And like it did to the Israelites, 
who had seen miracle after miracle, 
and then wanted to go back to Egypt.  

I seem to recall a plague of vipers.

"The people spoke against God and Moses:
“Why have you led us up from Egypt to die 
in the wilderness? There is no bread or water, and we detest this wretched food!” 
Then the Lord sent poisonous snakes 
among the people, and they bit them so that many Israelites died." 
numbers 21:5-6hcsb

Even though those things seem a bit extreme to us, if you take time to really read what was happening, you will see that

 God is merciful as well as just. 

 He judges the sin 
forgives the repentant sinner.

He made a way of escape for Lot's family...

He gave a cure for the Israelites who repented.

And for us?  
For me? 

What about...

that tendency to look back to what feels safe, though it is not...

that tendency to look back, because,
 looking forward is a bit scary...

that tendency to look back,
 because, trusting what is familiar comes naturally to our fallen natures...

Looking back is only good for us if we are looking through biblical glasses into the past.

We are told to remember the blessings of God.
We are commanded to remember, repent and redo the things we did when we were following closely on Christ's heels.

But, praise God!

Because Jesus took my sin upon Himself,
the sins of my past will not be held against me.

Because the Holy Spirit convicts me of sin, and I am promised forgiveness, the sins of today will not break my fellowship from the Father.

Because the Father's love is steadfast and unceasing, His mercies are new every morning.

But, more than all of these...

tendencies are just that....


They are not tentacles that tie me and keep me bound.

I am not destined to live chained 
to the past whether it was happy or not.  

Because as a believer in Christ, 
I am a new creation.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away, and look, new things have come.
2corinthians 5.17hcsb

And friend,
if you place your trust in Jesus Christ, 
you will become brand new.

The past cannot hold you any longer.

Your future will be secure.

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