Friday, March 19, 2010

Fresh Starts.......

There's nothing like springtime with new grass, colorful flowers, baby animals---everything seems so fresh and new! After a gloomy winter, spring is so refreshing!

Every day in the life of the believer is to be like spring. The Scriptures say that the L-rd's compassions are new every morning! (Lam. 3:22, 23) When we think of our lost condition before we were saved, to what we now have in Christ Jesus, we can have springtime in our hearts, even in the dead of winter!

II Corinthians 5:17 declares, "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold all things are become new."

We are made new creatures in Christ upon salvation. As we grow older in the L-rd, we remain new creatures. The "newness" shouldn't wear off with the result that we become like old deadwood. That verse above says that all things are become new! That's present tense. It doesn't say that all things became new!

Every day, we should renew ourselves in the L-rd by immersing ourselves in the Word! Is not the Word likened to water? Ephesians 5:25b, 26 states that ".....even as Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself for it; That He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word...."

I Corinthians 6:9-11 reminds us that before we were saved, we were pretty rotten folks. Even if we didn't actually commit these sins, if we had hatred in our heart, we were murderers; if we lusted in our hearts, we committed adultery. (I John 3:15; Matt. 5:28)

I doubt that there is a one of us that wasn't somewhere in this list of sinners: fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, effeminate, abusers of themselves with mankind, thieves, covetous, drunkards, revilers, extortioners......but you know what---verse 11 is good news!!
"And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the L-rd Jesus, and by the Spirit of our G-d."

Wow! Did you get that?! Such were some of you! This is past tense! Present tense is that now we "are washed"!

We should allow the Word of G-d to wash us every day, to renew our hearts in love for the L-rd by shining its light on any sin---any dirt and grime that has crept into the corners of our heart. Without G-d's Word revealing our heart condition, we can grow pretty calloused to sin, not realizing how dingy we've become!

Allowing the Word of G-d to do its work in our hearts will keep us humble. We won't be so prone to compare ourselves with others, thinking that we are doing pretty well, or better than we are! We won't be looking under a microscope at others in a critical way, either! Most of us have enough weeds in our own gardens to take care of without trying to pull weeds in someone else's!

Oftentimes, because we are not in the Word, we allow the old dried leaves, deadwood, old weeds and such grow in our hearts and we forget to be thankful. We get our focus on ourselves or our problems and grow dissatisfied. Covetousness creeps in, sins that we put behind us find their way back into our lives. We forget to put on our armor and the enemy's darts find their target.

When winter creeps into our hearts, bringing a frostiness there, it kills our love for Christ. The ground of our heart becomes hardened to sin; decay sets in, and we don't desire to be in the Word for cleansing. We resist the Holy Spirit, and allow our old man to take over.

The way to prevent that from happening is to start fresh every day in the Word! It has been well-said that, "Sin will keep you from this Book; and this Book will keep you from sin!"

The good news is that it is possible to have a fresh start!

Let us pray with David, "Create in me a clean heart, O G-d; and renew a right spirit within me."

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