Christianity 201

January 9, 2011

The People That You Meet

For the past few weeks, I’ve been working my way through a copy of the DVD Curriculum, The Truth Project from Focus on the Family featuring Dr. Del Tackett.   I’m watching some of the episodes out of sequence, so yesterday I watched the conclusion to the series; in which one of the participants in the series paraphrases C. S. Lewis:

Every person you meet is an eternal being.   You have never met a mere mortal.  Everyone you’ve ever come into contact with, argued with, traded with is either an immortal horror or an everlasting splendor.

“You have never met a mere mortal.” Wow. Strong words. But certainly consistent with the idea that God created us as spiritual beings made to respond to Him, or made for eternity.

Something to consider.

But when you think about it, that’s what new life and new birth have bought us and brought us: Transition from being on the road to immortal horror, to the way of being everlasting splendor.

At his blog, Dr. Tackett considers this in greater depth:

I don’t know what it is within the heart of man that loves a new beginning, but we do. Yes, there are times when a new beginning carries some fear because of the unknown that lies ahead or because we don’t like change and are just very comfortable with the old. But, in most cases, we like the fresh beginning.

The new year often stirs within us a motivation to start anew with goals and objectives that, in many cases, have gone unmet in years past. It almost gives us the privilege of “closing the book” on the failures and disappointments of the past and setting out with no bricks in our backpack. We almost feel lighter!

Of course, the reality is that just because the second hand sweeps past the 12 at midnight on December 31st, there isn’t some magical wand that brings fairy dust down upon your life. No genie appears to undo your past or miraculously change your circumstances. If you have a boatload of debt on New Year’s Eve, you will wake up to that same debt on January 1st.

Ugh! The reality of reality!

Wouldn’t it be grand if all things bad went away when the clock struck midnight at the end of the year? Can you imagine what your sleep would be like that night? Can you imagine what it would be like waking up the next morning, knowing that all the debt was gone, all the regrets and failures of the past were gone, all the ugliness and pain and grief and misery…gone!

Wow! Wouldn’t that be something!

But, alas, there are no magic wands and there are no genies.

But there is One who is in the business of making things “new”. For those who are His, there will come a day when we will go to sleep and awake to a true New Beginning.

But even in this life, He makes things new.

Millions have experienced the joy of a new creation, when the sins of the past are truly forgiven.

He creates us anew.

He gives us…
…a new heart (Ezekiel 36:26)
…a new birth (1 Peter 1:3)
…a new spirit (Ezekiel 11:19)
…a new song (Psalm 40:3)
…a new name (Isaiah 62:2; Revelation 2:17)
…a new life (Acts 5:20)
…a new self (Ephesians 4:24)
…a new way into the holy place (Hebrews 10:20)
…a new covenant. (Hebrews 9:15)
…and He creates a new heaven and earth (Isaiah 65:17; 2 Peter 3:13)

The Scriptures close out with the great declaration from Jesus, “Behold, I am making all things new.”

That is a New Years Day that will make all our new years pale in comparison!

But there is a continual “newness” that God gives to us:

“Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” (Lamentations 3:22-23)

Every day, there is a newness for those who are in Christ. If that reality were understood by our faint hearts, we would arise each morning with the joy and “freshness” that befits the child of the King who is in the business of taking old things and making them new.

May your New Year truly be a New Day every day.