Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new (2 Cor. 5:17).
As we celebrate the New Year, those in Christ have cause for rejoicing. God made His children new persons.
Jesus Christ came unto us and gave us a new hope. In 1 Peter 1:3-4 He says, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you.” This eternal hope gives His own a confidence no man can take from us.
The Word of God speaks of several new things:
• The new relationship of God with man.
• The new desire of man for God’s Word.
• The new life of man.
In 1 Corinthians 6:19 we are told “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?” We belong to God and His Holy Spirit dwells within us.
When Christ comes in, He gives us new desires. One of these is for His Word. Before we did not understand it, but now we love it and hunger for it.
Then He gave us a new life, a life of victory over sin. The Spirit produces the fruit of the Spirit in our life: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance” (Gal. 5:22-23). This does not mean a life free from affliction, but a productive life.
A New Heart
Ellen lay in bed wracked with pain. The pastor chatted with her husband. In the background, he heard Ellen. “How are the people in my church?” In the midst of all her pain, she was concerned about her church.
At last Ellen was able to attend church again. She stood and gave her testimony. “When I have pain in the middle of the night and cannot sleep, I’m thankful,” she said. “It gives me more time to pray.”
Later, she sat in a wheelchair in a nursery home. “How are you?” she asked. “You know Jesus is with you.” She continued her ministry of cheering visitors and the other residents until the Lord took her home.
This is as Ezekiel 36:26 says, “A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh.” God gives us a new heart and a new spirit that reaches out to others.
In this month of new beginnings you and I can pray: “Dear Lord, help me live a life of victory. May the fruit of the Spirit be manifest in my life. Help me reach out to others. May others see Christ in me. In Jesus’ name. Amen.”
(All Scripture Is from the King James Version.)
CULTIVATE A HEART OF THANKSGIVING
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