Sunday, February 28, 2010

All things new

One of my new favorite songs talks about God making all things new. This topic keeps coming up over and over during the past few days and just now it was in my Bible reading in Psalms. I was thinking about it and I turned off the light and it occurred to me to think about the phrase in a different way...

In 2 Corinthians 5, Paul says that if anyone is in Christ he is a new creation, God can make all things new.

 I Love that idea. God can make all things new. I have heard that phrase many times. I have contemplated it, claimed it, and prayed it for myself and others. My focus has always been that God can make ALL things new. There is nothing that you can bring to God that He can not fix. There is nothing too big, nothing too bad, nothing that will overwhelm Him. There is no life circumstance that can not be turned around. ALL things can be made new. We have all messed up. There is a time in everyone's life that choices have been made and we are left holding pieces. Things did not go as planned, but God can take any and all of it and make it new. I am so thankful that we have a big big that He can encompass anything in our path. He can make it new...

But tonight it dawned on me that there is so much more...He can make ALL things new...but I think we need to look at...He can make all things NEW. When we accept Christ and He comes and inhabits our life, he does not come and clean up our sinful heart and our selfish ways and make himself at home in our old heart and our old life. It is not our old life now forgiven. It is not our old self on a different path. It is not just a makeover or a remodel...It is NEW. Not a better version of the old, but something completely NEW. He takes our old sinful, selfish heart and gives us something beautiful, wonderful and NEW.

Wow! That is an amazing concept. There is freedom in that newness. We do not have to try and conform our old ways into something pleasing to God. He gives us a new nature, a new life that IS pleasing...we don't have to try...we are new.

I heard Ed Young talking about this concept this week. He made the analogy that we are like old yucky crab apple trees and we produce yucky crab apples. They are bitter and sour and make you sick. When we accept Christ, He is the Golden Delicious Apple tree. He does not simply put His Golden delicious branches on top of our crab apple tree branches to cover it up. He cuts our crab apple tree to the tiniest sliver of a stump...then he takes His Golden delicious Tree, the whole tree roots and all, and plants it over the stump and lets the Golden delicious roots grow over and around our old stump until there is nothing left of the crab apple tree...all that it is left is the Golden Delicious apples and His tree.

I don't know about you, but this resonates in my soul. It is not Pam the sinner trying to be the saint. It is Christ's heart and soul living out through NEW-ly created life, living out a purpose that was created for me. Christ in me and through me...ever fiber of my being His. ALL things NEW.

I know it sounds crazy. I know it sounds too good to be true. Maybe even too easy...there is a part of us that thinks we need to constantly be struggling and working and beating ourselves up for past failures and past mistakes. That we somehow need to pay for the things we have done so that we can "earn" this new creation...but that is not the free gift that God is offering each of us. Now, don't get me wrong, we do have to strive and push ourselves to keep moving keep on our new journey and there is are days when it is not easy...but we are not alone. and we are not our old selves...we are NEW and we are moving ahead and God is constantly working in us and around us everyday if we can be open to it. I have said this many times...the journey is not always easy, but it is always worth it. Embrace the NEW life God is giving you and go pour it out as a living offering to Him everyday...I promise, you won't regret it.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Are you all in??

This is a question I heard this week about the Christian life. Chip Ingram was speaking and he was comparing life to a game of poker. The game just goes along fairly uneventful until someone looks at their cards and then puts them down and says "I am all in" and pushes ALL of their chips into the game. That is when the game takes an exciting turn. Everything is at stake...all the chips are on the line. At that point it is either win or go home. 

That is the way with life. In order for us to experience all that God has for us in the Christian life we need to be ALL in. 

This week I have been thinking a lot about what that means. What does it look like to have a life that is ALL in? I don't want to hold anything back from God. I want to get to the end of the journey and know that I gave it all, I held nothing back. It was worth every moment to live to His extreme. I don't want to get to the end and realize I missed it somehow...

ALL IN...all my time - how would God have me spend my time? 
         There are many, many good things to fill our time and we all have responsibilities and obligations, but we must find the BEST things, the GOD things, to fill our time. 
...all my energy and attention - how do I need to focus my attention? What things of God need my energy? 
           I only have so much energy and attention to give to the things in my life. I do not want the Lord and his plans to receive my leftover time and attention. 
...all my resources, talents and gifts.
           Everything I have is His. All that I own, every ability, any gift that I might possess, EVERYTHING comes from Him and Him alone. How can I hold anything back? 
And finally...ALL MY WORSHIP...There is a pause in my spirit as I type those I understand the seriousness, the weight of those worship, all my worship. I can't begin to understand why the God of all the universe wants my worship, but He does...and He most certainly deserves it. My prayer is that my worship is true and pleasing to Him. 

All In...will you join me all In? I can not tell you what the journey will hold for you or for me, but I can tell you that it will be worth it all.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Finally posting in 2010

Well, I am finally posting in 2010. My plan was to post at least once a week, and here it is almost the end of February and I am finally posting something. 2010 has been good so far. I have really been praying that this will be a year of God's favor and so far it has been. He gave me a couple of verses in Psalms at the very beginning of the year and I feel like these are my verses for this year. 

Psalm 60:12 With God's help we will do Mighty Things, for he will trample down our foes. 

Psalm 90:14 - 17 
Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love,
so we may sing for joy to the end of our lives.
Give us gladness in proportion to our former misery
Let us see your miracles again;
let our children see your glory at work.
And may the Lord our God show us his approval and make our efforts successful. 
Yes, make our efforts successful!!

I feel as though the Lord is giving us back gladness for our misery. He is redeeming that time. The journey over the past 7 weeks in 2010 has not bee perfect, but God has continued to show His faithfulness. I am so grateful. I can't wait to see what the rest of this year has in store for us.