New year. New goals. New hopes. New dreams. New sorrows. New opportunities. New challenges. New friends. New trials. New joys. New insights. This time of year we think much of new. That’s healthy for us. As believers in Jesus we follow the One who is making all things new:
And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true” (Rev. 21:5).
Our Lord is making (present tense) all things new right now. What an encouraging and comforting statement! Yet, it is easy to wonder how. Look around. Sin and lawlessness increase daily. The church steadily loses cultural relevance. Most church growth is by transfer rather than conversion. And then there are our own lives…we consistently struggle with attitudes, besetting sins, fears, doubts and relationships.
Appearances notwithstanding, Jesus is indeed making all things new. But how? If we can trace his renewing hand it can replenish our strength and enliven our spirit. Let me suggest some ways that Jesus now renews all things.
One, he directs history toward the establishment of his kingdom, where all things will be new – new earth, new heavens, new everything. He who is the spirit of prophecy is fulfilling his purposes so that “times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord.”
Additionally, the Lord Jesus is restoring the image of God in believers. When he saved us he made us positionally new: “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. “ And now He makes us new men practically. Key among his tools in this are our trials, as Paul knew: “Though our outer man is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.” Jesus is making us new!
We observe and experience the Lord’s sovereign direction of history. We experience and enjoy his sanctifying renewal of our very person. And we also get to participate as he remakes others. As we share his good news, some believe him. Those who do are “born again.” The Holy Spirit creates in them a new heart, mind and will as he brings their dead spirit to life. And they are made new as we connect with them and communicate God’s good news to them. We are part of his newness process.
This new year, realize that with every redemptive relationship you build, you are participating with Jesus as he makes all things new. How privileged we are!
New year. New perspective. Christ uses us to help make all things new. Let’s stay with it.