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Posts Tagged ‘Isaiah 43:19’

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(Reblogged from 12-30-13)

 

A new year requires a new calendar. Don’t you just love the crisp, uncurled pages–the empty spaces for each day, filled with nothing but optimistic possibilities?

Perhaps you’re starting the new year with a fresh journal. Again, the pristine pages are filled with nothing but hope and expectation.

We might also desire to start the new year with:

New eyes—to see the glory of God around us.
New ears—to hear his still, small voice.
New resolve—to follow God’s direction.
New courage—to speak his truth boldly.
New faith—to live with confident trust in our Heavenly Father.

These abilities cannot be bought at Barnes & Nobles, like a calendar or journal. They are procured through prayer and discipline.

A good place to begin? David’s prayer in Psalm 51: “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me…Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me” (Psalm 51:10, 12).

Allow me to personalize it a bit.

Create in me a pure heart, O God (just as you created a perfect universe from chaos).

And renew a steadfast spirit within me (that my greatest desire might be to please you).

Restore to me the joy of your salvation (just as we experience in the euphoria of Christmas Eve)!

Grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me (throughout 2016).

The typical new year’s resolution is made, broken, and forgotten. Rarely does someone make a once-a-year promise and keep it faithfully for the next 364 days.

Perhaps we’d be wise to see each new day as a fresh opportunity for beginning anew. To repent of yesterday’s failures and forget them. To strain toward what is ahead—with enthusiasm, expectation, and hope (Philippians 3:13).

And gradually those new abilities we aspire after will begin to flourish.

God says, “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See I am doing a new thing” (Isaiah 43:18-19a)!

* * * * * * * * * *

Thank you, Father, for your mercy to forgive the past, and your grace to provide for the future. Thank you that each morning is a fresh start, and each new day holds hidden opportunities. With great anticipation I turn the page!

 

(photo credit:  www.news.health.com.)

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(Remember Susan Boyle?)

 

Makeovers. What a remarkable change-of-appearance can be achieved with a becoming hairstyle (and maybe color-enhancement!), deftly applied make-up, and well-fitted clothing.  Add the benefit of plastic surgery and a person hardly resembles her former self.

But the transformation of someone’s face and body doesn’t begin to compare to the transformation of someone’s spirit.

 

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Anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person.

The old life is gone; a new life has begun!

–2 Corinthians 5:17 (NLT) 

 

Notice: We’re not just improved and beautified. Jesus remakes each of us into a brand new person.

And what might that newness include? Here’s a partial list:

 

  • New purpose

 

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(“Whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”

–1 Corinthians 10:31b)

 

Those who follow this directive discover an interesting phenomenon: honoring God brings satisfaction and fulfillment to us. (By the way, God is not on some ego trip, demanding us to give him all the glory. He desires his splendor and benevolence to be evident everywhere, so others might be drawn to him.)

 

  • New attitude resulting in new character

 

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(“Put on your new nature and be renewed

As you learn to know your Creator and become like him.”

–Colossians 3:10)

 

The more we know of God and appreciate all his benefits, the more we want to please him by following his example. That new attitude impacts every aspect of our lives.

 

  • New perspective

 

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(“Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life.”

–Psalm 23:6)

 

Just knowing God has our best interest at heart is enough to renew energy and hope.

 

  • New power to face what comes

 

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(“[He] is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine,

according to his power that is at work within us.”

–Ephesians 3:20)

 

Think of it: the same power that controls the universe is at work within us. Tell me again why we revert to worrying?!

 

  • New emotions, such as peace and joy

 

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(“The kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking,

but of righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.”

–Romans 14:17)

 

We do not need to live at the mercy of our circumstances. With God as our constant companion, we can experience peace and joy in spite of what happens. The Bible is full of examples of people who lived that way: Joseph, Daniel, Peter, and Paul readily come to mind.

 

  • New confidence

Proverbs 3.26 

(“The Lord will be your confidence.”

–Proverbs 3:26a)

 

God is not only with us, he is our Protector, Provider, and Guide.  As we become increasingly aware of his faithfulness, our trust grows. Trust = confidence.

 

  • New opportunities and blessings

 

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(“The faithful love of the LORD never ends!

His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness;

his mercies begin afresh each morning.”

–Lamentations 3:22-23 (NLT)

 

Experience tells us that when we say “yes” to Jesus, God does not bestow the full measure of all of these wonderful new things instantaneously. God told Isaiah: “Behold I am doing a new thing” (Isaiah 43:19).  That hints at process. We’re made new, but growing into that newness.

 

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Think of buying a coat in the fall that’s a little too big for your child. She owns the coat, but it doesn’t quite fit yet.  Within a matter of weeks however, the sleeves hit the wrist not the fingertips, and the shoulder seams sit properly–no sagging down the arms.

Might it be that when we invite Jesus in our lives, our spirits are made new, but we don’t quite fit into them yet? Then, as we cooperate with Holy Spirit and his fruit grows within us (Galatians 5:22-23), we steadily become more Christ-like, day by day.

*     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *

Oh, Father, I don’t want to cling to aspects of the old me—things like worry, perfectionism, selfishness, and pride. I want to embrace everything new that YOU bring to my life, to become my true self—the one you designed me to be.**

 

**Based on idea from Jesus Calling by Sarah Young, Thomas Nelson, p. 381.

Photo credits:  www.joblogging.weebly.com; http://www.ilovemybible.tumblr.com; http://www.pinterest.com; http://www.dayofgrace.me; http://www.faithgateway.com; http://www.pinterest.com; http://www.slideshare.net; http://www.plus.google.com; pinterest.com (2).

Share your thoughts in the comment section below.  I’d love to hear from you!

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