Tag Archives: change

God Makes All Things New

Alfred Tennyson said. “Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come. . .”  What a word picture! Do you stand at the brink of this new year wishing all things could be new for you, looking with hope towards this new year?

It is true, many people celebrate the New Year with a sigh of relief concerning things difficult, painful and troublesome that occurred in the old year with an expectation of better things to come in the New Year. Each New Year brings with it the promise of a fresh start, and new blessings.

God is a fan of “new!”
New means something that is just brought into existence, or something that is different from the old, or former things.

The term “new” is used approximately 131 times in the Old Testament and 54 times in the New Testament. God talks about all types of new things: a new name (Is. 62:2; Rev.2:17); a new song (Is. 42:10; Ps. 40:3); a new covenant (Jer. 31:31; 1 Cor. 11:25); a new commandment (John 13:34); a new birth (1 Peter 1:3); a new heart (Ezekiel 36:26); a new man (2 Cor. 5:17); a new life (Rom. 6:4); a new attitude, and a new self (Eph. 4:23-24).

The thought of ushering in a new year with God holds promise for real change.

Re-think Resolutions
All newness begins in God, because it is He who makes all things new (Rev. 21:5), including you and me.

Most people approach the New Year with the thought of change; of some-how making things different, better or new. Many people make resolutions – a list of things they want/need to change; things they want to add to their life; things they want to re-new or re-do.

A resolution is a resolve, a firm decision to do something that you were not doing.  A resolution is a statement, a plan for change.

Is there anything you need to change, or want to change? (Maybe you want to change an attitude about life, or about someone; a habit that is harmful to your physical or mental health; a pattern of hurtful interactions within your relationships; a mindset of being critical and negative; a prideful or self-sufficient spirit; or _______________ (you fill it in).

A Resolution by Any Other Name Is…
Believe it or not, changing our mind or renewing our mind is repentance! In the New Testament of the Bible, repent comes from the Greek word metanoia which means a change of mind; a change in the inner man; a change of thinking and of purpose. In the Old Testament repentance is the concept of turning to God and away from sinful ways.

Repentance involves a turning away from our “selves” and our ways, and a turning to God.

Acts 17:30 describes repentance in a very clear way:
“God overlooked the times when people didn’t know any better. But now He commands everyone everywhere to turn to Him and change the way they think and act.”

Repentance is a word that some modern thinkers find repugnant or old fashioned. Yet to change how we think and act is the very definition of repentance.

The New Year is a time when we think of change. Resolutions are resolves and plans to repent and change.

Renewal Begins in Our Mind
In truth, God calls us to change all the time. God is all about change.

In Romans 12:2, God speaks to us about change and renewal:
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed (changed) by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—His good, pleasing and perfect will.”

In other words, do not remain molded to your old, ineffective ways of thinking about your life and then acting, but allow your way of thinking to be changed.

Part B of this verse indicates that the renewing of our mind involves the will of God. It involves learning how to think about life and our selves the way God sees us; the way God wants.

Renewing our mind in this manner involves the Word of God. God’s will is in His Word, the Bible. Make a resolve to read the Word of God every day, so that you can know the will of God and begin to change, to have your “self” and your life transformed.

Change Is Refreshing
As we read through to the end of this verse we see that such a renewing by changing our mind produces something good and pleasing. Isn’t this the main idea of why we want to change certain things in ourselves and our lives?

Such change or repentance leads to inner peace, contentment, strength and refreshing, that comes from the presence of God in our life as indicated in Acts 3:19.

“Now change your mind and attitude to God and turn to Him so He can cleanse away your sins and send you wonderful times of refreshment from the presence of the Lord.”

God, Our Power to Change
There have been years I have made resolutions concerning things I wanted to change and things I needed to change, yet within 3 months of those resolutions I gave up.

You may say well you didn’t have the right plan; or you did not persevere; or you did not have the encouragement from others to change. Possibly all those are true, but the truth is I tried to do them in my own strength.

Change is hard. It is a process that occurs overtime. It does require perseverance, self-discipline and support from others; but, it also requires the acknowledgement of the active presence of God in our lives and the turning to Him. Turning away from our “self,” our thinking, and turning to God is not a one-time event, it is a daily, even hourly, act of trust and reliance on God, His love and His power.

God is the champion of change and He provides what we need to change.

2 Corinthians 3:18 clearly describes this process:
“And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into His image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”

The English Standard version of this verse indicates that with the help of God we are being changed to be like Him, to have His heart and His character degree by degree. This is a truth.

The fact is that God is working in me, that I am not left to make these changes on my own, and, that I am not expected to change overnight, gives me hope. God’s life giving and life changing power are working with me, in me and for me.

So, I urge you to re-think your resolutions this year. Bring God into your resolutions! Renew your mind, and turn to God to be transformed. Remember these changes are a part of our walk with God. We may fail at times, but He will not fail us.

“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

P.S. A friend of mine recently published a book about chances for change. The title of this book is “Every Day Is A New Chance” by Jeanie Shaw. It is published by Illumination Publishers.



Miracle Lessons

I found hope and power in the story of Jesus at a wedding feast (John 2:1-11). Jesus is at a wedding feast for a friend of the family. In the middle of the feast, the host runs out of wine. Jesus’ mother asks Him to do something about this. We then read that Jesus took plain ordinary water and changed it into the best quality wine. Reading this story sent a surge of hope through me.

The text states that Jesus did this miracle to reveal His glory to the disciples. (John 2:11-“What Jesus did here in Cana of Galilee was the first of the signs through which He revealed

His glory; and his disciples believed in him.”)  In other words He was being open and vulnerable and He was revealing to them who He really was, that is, God in the flesh. He was building into their faith.

Miracles Reveal Jesus
So every time I read about a miracle of Jesus, He is revealing Himself to me. Not only is He revealing His divine nature and His power, but He is revealing His heart for me and how He will help me. He reveals His nature and how He interacts in our relationship with Him.

Think about it. At the wedding in Cana those years ago, Jesus did not have to do anything concerning the supply of wine for the wedding guests, yet He did. The inspired word of God tells me He did it to begin revealing His true identity as the Son of God to the disciples. This is a truth. But, I also believe it shows His understanding of us as human beings. The supply of wine was important to the host of the wedding. It was an embarrassment that he ran out of wine to serve his guests.

His Power and Heart Are Involved
So when I read this story, I feel extremely hopeful to know that Jesus has the power to help me change, and He has the tender compassion to want to help me. I have character weaknesses that I think are impossible for me to change. Sometimes I think that is just me. I have been that way for years, but this miracle shows me that my situation is not hopeless. Jesus can change me, and help me change.

Recently, I struggled with losing weight. I tried various diets and exercise routines, but I continued to have difficulty. I began seriously praying about it. God led me to read some research that helped me to understand my problem, and that helped me find the right eating plan for me. I lost weight, and I thank God. But after 3 years, I still find myself struggling with food, craving different foods, and eating when I am not hungry.

From the Inside Out
My problem was not just one on the surface to be solved by diet and exercise. I realized that I was eating because food is comforting to me. I was eating as a way to be fulfilled. At a deep inner level, I was seeking comfort in food instead of in God. I was finding fulfillment in food instead of in God, not totally or all the time, but often. I need a change in the way I think about God and the way I value food.

Jesus changed the nature of the water. The chemical formula for water is H2O. The basic formula for wine is CH3CH2OH.  The truth in this miracle for us is that Jesus can change us from the inside out. He changes our very heart and nature as we walk along with Him.

I believe the whole struggle with my weight was to help me see this deeper faith and heart issue. Jesus helped me to change at the water to wine level.

This story of Jesus helps me embrace change instead of dreading or fearing it. To read about what Jesus did, and what it revealed about Himself at a simple wedding feast years ago gives me faith and hope about the changes I need to make.  It encourages me to read more miracles to see what I can learn about Jesus.

What about you? What do you need to change? What will you bring to Jesus to change?

“And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another.  For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.”
2 Corinthians 3:18