Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Who Doesn't Love New

With recent innovation of electronic devices such as "Nooks, E-Readers" etc. I was talking with a friend the other day and we were agreeing, as I'm sure many others would, that there's just something about reading a BOOK, the feel of the pages, picturing where a particular passage that "hit" you is positioned on the page, the durability, mobility and flexibility of an actual book. After all, when reading a book, one is not dependent on "signal" or "battery charge".

My Pastor's wife hit the nail on the head one time when she mentioned how much she loves her Bible. Yes, you can download the Bible on your I-Phone or Droid and look up passages in any version imaginable on electronic devices but it's just not the same. I agree with her 100%.  This line of thought got me to remembering how a new book has a certain smell that a reader loves and old books are treasures,works of art that have a mysterious beauty about them. As we embark on another year (and my, how they seem to fly by), I began pondering the idea of newness. The Bible is filled with verses reminding us that when we accept Jesus as Savior we are new. We have a "clean slate". It's a new life, waiting to be written.

I remember when I was a kid. I used to love to get new notebooks for school. I couldn't wait to make all my entries clean and neat. However, often mid-way through the first semester one could notice a distinct change in the accuracy and attention to detail in my notes. I became lazy or tired or just plain complacent. Isn't that often the way our walk with the Lord becomes? We allow it to become more like routine or mundane. We lose our first love and become lax in our zeal and study of the Word. 

Webster's dictionary defines "New" this way: New: "Having recently come into existence; Made or become fresh; awakened." When we come to the Lord, we "come into existence" the Bible says we are "born again". Unlike an old, comfortable pair of shoes or broken-in jeans, there comes a certain amount of uncertainty about this "new" life. Questions arise, "How can all the horrible things in my life be wiped out, just like that?", "What will this cost me and what will be required of me?", "Can I do this?" However, once we learn more about the glorious gift of salvation and draw close to the lover of our soul, we realize that everything we've been searching for can be found in Him. The big, fat hole in our heart can be filled with His amazing acceptance, comfort, hope, and love. As we grow in Him we have a stronger desire to become more like Him and to make decisions that will please His heart.

I remember the first time I bought a new car. What a difference from the old, very used cars I had been used to. I treated my new car completely different than the old ones. I wanted to preserve the newness as long as possible. I valued the new more because it cost more and was worth more. This is how our lives are when we come to Christ. Our salvation was paid for at a great price by our Savior. He is trusting us to care for our lives in a more responsible way and to be mindful that we now carry His Name. We are Christians (followers of Christ). 

So, in this new year, I am very conscious of the amazing gift God has given me to be brand new. I want to preserve that newness and continually examine my heart to make sure I am striving with all that is in me to live the life I'm called to live. After walking with the Lord for 31+ years, He's taught me how to deal with the old so I can walk in the new. I encourage you, my brothers and sisters, take advantage of the new slate the Lord has given you. Work through all the old and see how the Lord can use that as you walk in the new.

2 Corinthians 5:17 "This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!"