Built on Newness
"To be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness."- Ephesians 4:23-24
Last month we were blessed to finally complete a home improvement project that we have had on our "to do" list for several years, which became all the more pressing with the potential "El Nino" storm coming this year. Through God's abundant provision we were able to have our driveway and walkway redone. Both had suffered considerable dilapidation due to weather and tree roots.
With the new cement leveled and hardened it is quite remarkable to see the difference of this part of our home. The project has produced immediate favorable results. For one thing the house is more pleasing to the eye. There is a greater beauty and symmetry to the front yard now that the area has been upgraded. This completed project also will increase the value of the house. And perhaps of greatest consequence, the new area will be protected from the future bad weather.
As we have entered into 2016 there is a need to allow God to work His NEWNESS into our lives. Each of us have areas we are to grow in, areas we are to improve, areas that need to be addressed, and areas that need a complete makeover. For some of us there is a need to cultivate meaningful daily time with God in prayer, worship, and reading the Word. For some there is a need to work on areas that the flesh tends to dominate, such as the ugly stuff of lust, anger, and impatience. For others this is the time to get serious about answering God's call to use your gifts, resources, and time in a way that blesses the lives of others.
This past Sunday in our first message of 2016, in this Year of Unshakeable Truths, I mentioned how it is time to stop playing the "sand boxes" with the various areas of our lives, but that we are to bring them to God's "penthouse" for the best and highest results. What God has to offer for our lives is of far greater value, far stronger material, and far grander beauty than anything we can produce ourselves or purchase elsewhere. In the same way Joanie and I took time in choosing the right contractor to do the job and the right materials to be used, we need to carefully and diligently come to the Lord and walk in the Spirit to see our lives changed, strengthened, purified, and established. In Colossians 3:10 we are commanded to, "put on the new self, which is being renewed in the image of its Creator."
In the same way our house experienced an immediate upgrade, so too our lives will go through an exhilarating and triumphal transformation as we apply GOD'S NEWNESS:
1) The New Things will produce BEAUTIFUL RESULTS.
"He had made everything beautiful in its time."- Ecclesiastes 3:11
You will see a noticeable and profitable difference in the way you think, in the way you converse with others, in the way you trust in the Lord, and in the way you handle adversity. These new things will produce a person who sleeps better at night, who is closer to their spouse and children, who does not give up at the first sign of resistance, and who does not let any present moment or pressing need steal the joy and belief that better days are still ahead.
2) The New Things will protect you from COMING STORMS.
"If the Lord had not been on our side...the flood would have engulfed us, the torrent would have swept over us, the raging waters would have swept us away."- Psalm 124:1,4-5
Some of the new work the Lord desires to do is to reinforce our walk with Him in such a way that we are prepared for what comes on the path ahead. Along the journey there are certain to come temptations, obstacles, disappointments, and enemies that will seek to stop us in our tracks and beat us into submission. We need to apply God's Word, God's promises, and God's Spirit to makes us into people of pure and strong substance that overcomes life's greatest tests.
3) The New Things will INCREASE FAITH.
"For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ."- II Peter 1:8
The greatest result that the Lord wants to produce is that we would grow in our fellowship with Him and His people. That we would become a people who love spending time with Him, who grow in our knowledge of His Word, who follow His commands, and who love others with a pure heart.
Let's allow the application of the Word and the Spirit to do a work in us that is long-lasting and perfectly-pleasing. He is ready to pour out something NEW and something MORE to the very areas in us that are incomplete, compromised, weak, and ugly. During the month of January begin asking the Lord about the areas in your life that need to be remodeled, reinforced, or better put redeemed, so that all His beauty and glory become your everyday reality, joy, and victory!