One of my favorite songs ever written and performed by Nathan and Christy Nockels is entitled, “All Things New.” The lyrics for the bridge of the song say the following:
And I’m so grateful for this life that I know
That I am no longer what I was
Because of Your love and the beauty of the cross
I can see your work in me
All things new, all things new in me
You make, all things new, all things new in me.
Oh, the joy that I am no longer what I was because of God’s love and the beauty of the cross of Jesus! The Bible affirms the lyrics of this song in two of its most glorious verses.
2 Corinthians 5:17 (ESV) Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
Revelation 21:5a (ESV) And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.”
When we think of creation we often think of the physical things that our Lord God made, those things we experience with one or more of our five senses. As we come to the start of a new year, we need to remember that God has created time as well. We know from science that it is the rotation of the earth that allows us to experience day and night. We see the effect of time as well upon our physical bodies and physical objects. As much as we often race against time, we cannot turn back the clock except on one evening a year in the fall when we gain that precious hour of sleep. Time keeps marching on. It is one of those constants that God established when He spoke this world into existence.
Because of God’s creation of time, we can experience that which is fresh and new. Because of God’s creation of time, we can look back into the past for wisdom to learn from our shared history. Because of God’s creation of time, we can remember the great things the Lord has done in our lives. Because of God’s creation of time, we can exercise faith and hope in the future yet to come.
A new year holds tremendous promise for each and every person. It’s a fresh start. It’s a new beginning. We see a picture of the gospel of Jesus Christ when we wake up on January 1 to begin a new year. Through Jesus, our God makes all things new in us. As the Bible says, “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness” (Lamentations 3:22-23, ESV).
We don’t have to wait until January 1 to start over or start again. The grace of God in Jesus Christ is for us continual unmerited favor, new mercies, and steadfast love that never ends. We can experience this kind of love on a moment-by-moment basis each and every day. The amazing grace of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit is more than enough to forgive us, cleanse us, restore us, renew us, empower us, and keep us.
The greatest gift given to us by the Father and the Lord Jesus is the gift of the Holy Spirit. When the Holy Spirit comes into our hearts, He equips us with gifts of grace. Romans 12:6 begins, “We have different gifts according to the grace given us” (ESV). 1 Peter 4:10 says, “As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace” (ESV).
On Sunday morning, January 27, we invite you to a ministry fair during the Sunday school hour to help you learn where you might use your spiritual gifts to serve in our congregation. God’s grace gifts to us are to be exercised in love and used to build up the body of Christ into full maturity in Jesus (Ephesians 4:11-16). May this new year be the greatest year yet of God’s grace flowing in us and through us to others as His church that gathers together on the Square.
By His Grace,