Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation;
the old has gone, the new has come!
2 Corinthians 5:17
O Lord, thank you that no matter how old we become chronologically, we are always new in You. How desperate we are for Your Spirit within us, Lord. For it renews us day by day with the life-giving hope we need. In Your precious name we pray, amen.
Just the word “new” seems to brighten our countenance, doesn’t it? While the old and the familiar can be comforting, all that is new is more exciting and holds more promise. Perhaps that’s why we are so anxious to see the first signs of spring after a long winter.
First, we see the green tips of leaves pushing through the ground, but the next time we look we see crocuses or hyacinths in full bloom. Even when the bulbs have to push their way through late spring snows, we are thrilled at the promise of warm days ahead.
Who hasn’t been delighted by the prospect of a new pair of shoes, a new hat, or a new car? There’s just something in the newness of our purchase that makes us happy in a way the old items can’t. We respond to that which is un-scuffed, unstained and shiny.
Certainly, a newborn baby makes everyone smile. As Wordsworth wrote, babies seem to arrive “trailing clouds of glory.” So sweet, so innocent are they—and so new! Long before we find out their personalities, strengths and weaknesses, before we see signs that they too, were born in original sin and need to be disciplined and trained, we can celebrate their newness.
Yet how amazing that whatever our age we can all be new in the spiritual sense. Once we are willing to give up our old ways and our old self-centered beliefs, we can open our hearts to the newness of life that Jesus brings.
If only we could put on a new attitude as easily as we put on a new shirt or blouse. If only we could have something new that never grew shabby or ended up in the pile for charity donations.
Blessedly, there is something new that never loses its newness, and that’s our faith in Jesus Christ. Paul wrote to the church at Ephesus to encourage them to take off their old selves and put on the newness of a life of faith in Jesus. Once we do that, we are tapped into an imperishable source of life. We will never really grow old because we will have eternal life with Him. We truly are new creations.
What do we rid ourselves of when we abandon our old natures? Perhaps most important, we rid ourselves of the burden of carrying around all the sins we’ve ever committed in our lives. We rid ourselves of the guilt that goes along with some of those sins, and of the unwillingness to forgive that we may have harbored for decades. When we put on a new self through faith in Jesus Christ, we also rid ourselves of our anxiety, fears, and worry. We know we can trust Him to fulfill His promises. So we can rest in the knowledge that He will never leave us nor cast us out—no matter how old we may appear outwardly.
Many people may hold on to old attitudes, old grudges, old fears, just because they are as comfortable as an old pair of shoes. But trading them in for a new life in Christ, and becoming a new creation in God’s eyes, is a way of life that brings eternal joy.
Join the conversation by adding your comments below.
In what ways has Christ made you new?
by Nancey Brummette
Nancy Parker Brummett first led a Bible study in an assisted living setting in 1999 and she and the Lord developed The Hope of Glory in the years that followed. She also journeyed with her mother and mother-in-law through their adventures in aging, and her academic interest in aging led her to receive the Professional Certificate of Gerontology from the University of Colorado in Colorado Springs. The author of four other books, she now focuses her writing and speaking ministries on her passion for older adults and those who care for them. To learn more about Nancy’s life and work or to subscribe to her blog on aging issues, Take My Hand Again, visit her website.