Strong spirits: Don't stay the same!

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Photo: Jenny Downing

It is hard for me to come to this particular part of the year without thinking of newness. It is a very Biblical concept. And it is something that each of us, Christian or not, needs to be aware of, need to pursue. The choice is obvious- either we become new, or we stay the same. Speaking for myself, I don't want to stay the same... ever. I am not nearly all I want to be or believe I should be. So I am all for being made new.

But how? Paul tells us that if anyone is "in" Christ Jesus, they "are a new creation, the old has gone, and the new has come." (2 Corinthians 5:17). And Jesus says in the revelation that John received, "Behold, I make all things new." (Revelations 21:5) That is a pretty amazing promise. One that will only be completely fulfilled when he comes again.

But in the meantime, we can be made new and can help make the world new, by being "in" Christ, by inviting him into our hearts, and by abiding in him, at his invitation (John 15). This is not something that we do once and are done. Rather, it is something we need to do every day- our personal prayer of surrender. Also, it should be stated that once we have been made new, we are commissioned to join him in making others, and the world, new as well. Big challenge!

So how about it? Do you want to be the same, or be made new? I pray we will choose to be made new, and follow him into this new year with high expectancy, hope, and joy!

Besides serving as pastor at Caledonia Congregational Church, Gary Schwerin is the Spiritual Development Minister for the YMCA of the Rock River Valley and Executive Director of Bridge Ministries of Rockford. Prior to launching Bridge Ministries, Gary spent many years in leadership with Young Life. His columns appear here every Sunday - to see them all, subscribe to our daily email.

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