Reflections

 

(Revelation 21:5 KJVA)  And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.

                                                  

“Behold, I make all things new.” Can there be better words spoken? We are about to enter into a new year. Looking back over the past year we have seen some great accomplishments and we have seen some great sorrows. Looking at our own spiritual conditions we have seen some steps taken up Jacob’s Ladder and we have experienced some back-sliding. Our one consistent hope is found in the words spoken by our LORD, “Behold I make all things new.”

 

Let me begin by wishing you a Happy New Year. Better yet, I pray that you walk in the full blessing of the LORD this coming New Year. I know that I speak to both saved and unsaved with these messages, so I want to encourage you all, that there can be, and most definitely is, a great hope for a better tomorrow. As we look at the world around us we see both great technological advances and we see immense social upheaval. Some times the words of the preacher of Ecclesiastes ring so true; “There is nothing new under the sun.” 

 

(Ecclesiastes 1:9 KJV)  The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.

 

From the dawn of time man has been trying on his own to remedy the wrong that he himself has committed. We continue to make resolution after resolution, only to be once again disappointed in ourselves. I am sure most of us have already set in our minds a resolution for the New Year. And that is a wonderful thing. It is a noble and honorable thing to want to better yourself and the lives of those around you. But often it is like a man taking a computer into be repaired, and the technician telling him that it would work great with a new CPU, and RAM, a new Hard Drive, and new Disc Drives. In other words, a whole new computer. That is the wonderful thing about the words we hear from the LORD today. “Behold I make ALL THINGS new.”

 

I may have told you about my fifth grade teacher who often told me to “turn over a new leaf.” Oh, and I tried, and I tried, I even brought real leaves into the classroom and would turn them over and over on my desk. I needed more than to turn over a new leaf; I needed an extreme spiritual make over. Let’s look at these six words and discover the depth of the power available to us within them.

 

The first word “behold” tells us to observe, take notice, consider and regard. We are so often misdirected by the world that we miss the true miracle and splendor of life. Behold, wake up, sober up, open your eyes and see the truth that has been staring you in the face your whole life. What is it that we are to behold? The very next word opens our minds to an unlimited reality. Who is this “I” that we are to behold?

 

It is the great I AM. The Alpha and the Omega. There is only one that can create and destroy all things. There is only one that can take a heart of stone and turn it into flesh. There is only one who can turn your sorrows into eternal joy. There is only one way, one truth and only one life giver, and that is the one who was, and is, and is to come. Too often we look in the mirror and see the only “I” we know. The I that we are told to behold holds the future and the past, and is right now, here in the present, knocking on the door of your heart and letting you know that All things can, and will, become new.

 

The next world is “make.” When we really think about it we know that matter can not be made or destroyed. Einstein’s formula of e=mc2 explains how matter and energy can be exchanged back and forth but matter is a constant within the universe. (What?) Only something outside the universe could have created the universe and only something outside the universe can make all things new. The really cool thing is that the one who was on the outside creating it all stepped down out of glory and came inside to make all things new for us all.

 

Now, for the “All.” We can look at these words in a couple of ways. We can look at them prophetically, seeing what glory we have in store for us in eternity, and we can look at them in a personal relative manner. When you become a new creation in Christ, it is a total and complete transformation. You are no longer a servant and a slave to the world, but you become a son, or daughter of the most high. You are no longer under bondage and condemnation, but you are set free and “all things are made new.”

 

I want to look at this conversion for a moment if you don’t mind. As I was preparing for this message I was looking into different ways of reflecting upon this past year and on our lives and came across a very important passage that needs to be brought to mind.

 

 (2 Corinthians 13:5 LITV)  Examine yourselves, whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Or do you not yourselves perceive that Jesus Christ is in you, unless you are disapproved?

 

If we desire all things to become new we first must examine the way things are. Here I am talking to both saved and unsaved alike. Our sanctification is both instant and complete and constant and continual. None of us are perfect, but we can be assured that He who began a good work in you will continue it. The question that must be asked is has that work begun. Has it been you, by your own strength and will power, that has been pulling your self up by the bootstraps all this time. Have you been relying upon your own good works to make you feel accepted. Feelings are not always true. Many people have been said to feel a great warmth come over them as they froze to death. The difference between the old and the new is the who. In the Old Testament, the covenant was one of, if you do this, and if you do that, and if you don’t do this, or don’t do that, then you will have life. But we know none of us, not one but Jesus, has ever upheld the law from our birth. I don’t care how self-righteous some may seem, we are all sinners and no matter how much make-up you put on a pig, it is still a pig.             

 

All the difference is in the “all.” When you take your computer in to be repaired and they tell you that you need a new one, you don’t just by a new tower for your old equipment, you get a whole new system. And that is what we need for our spiritual life. The New Testament is not one of rules and regulations, but it is the gospel of grace. How I have gotten myself in many a lively discussion defending the gospel of grace, but I tell you, there is no other way.  Many argue that there first must come repentance, then faith, then salvation. Others will say that faith brings repentance. I don’t really care what comes first; I honestly believe it is like the spokes of a wheel. One does not move before the other as the wheel is turned, but faith and repentance and salvation work together to make you new. If you are simply relying upon repentance then you are missing the whole meaning of the word. If you are trying to earn your salvation by your works then you have dismissed the work done upon the cross altogether. The question we must ask ourselves is why. Why are we continuing to fight against the temptations of the flesh? Is it because we don’t want to experience the wrath of God, or is it because we do not want to disappoint him?

 

In marriage you do not remain faithful, because you fear the anger of your spouse when discovered, if that is your reasoning then you will not long remain faithful. You remain faithful because you love your spouse and desire to please them and do as little as you can, not to hurt them in any way. When we come to the marriage supper of the lamb we become the bride of Christ and we work to bring Him glory . It is not because of wrath, but because of love, that fight the good fight of faith.

 

So I ask you now to examine your self and see if all things have become new in your spiritual life, or if you have been rehashing an old dead religion. It really comes down now to your choice, you can either be judged by your works or you can have your name written in the book of life. You can do good works trying to pay off a debt that can never be paid, or you can become a joint heir with the king and reign with Him eternally.

 

But where does that take us in our reflection? Well it goes back to the realization that you will never know if something is new unless you saw the way it was in the past. It is like those before and after pictures. An example  would be our church carpet. It looks great, but you really can’t fully appreciate it unless you remember the old warn out one with the ripples coming down the isle. Have you ever remolded a room and afterwards wished you had taken a before picture so you can see how greatly it is improved. That is the mirror I hope we can look in today.

 

It is the mirror where you can see the old you in comparison to the new man or woman in Christ. It is not a mirror of condemnation. There was many a time I could hardly look myself in the mirror when I was in the world. But now I see who I am as well as the man that God is working in me to become. It is the Spirit of the LORD that brings the change within me. My job is to stay close to Him and let His hand of mercy mold me and make me into the image of His son.

 

(2 Corinthians 3:17& 18 KJV)  Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.

But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.

 

That does not mean that I have the liberty run amuck, it means within me now there is a new heart, that really desires to do the will of God. Are your desires new? Again we must look into that mirror and not forget who we are. We are no longer the old man bound by sin, but behold all things are new, we are a new creation. So we don’t go on sinning, rather we leave sin behind and press onto a much higher calling. We are not simply hearers of the word, we are doers of it.

 

(James 1:23 & 24 KJV)  For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.

 

So we serve the LORD not as slaves but as sons. We live for the harvest not simply for the wages. Many times a gospel of prosperity is preached and people come across hard times and give up their faith. The LORD Himself has told us there will be tribulation. People will persecute you because of your faith. If the world is crucified to you, then the same is true that world will crucify you. But we know that we have more for us then a workman’s wage. You need to know the unimaginable riches that await you. Let’s now quickly go back to our passage in Revelation and read it in context.

 

(Revelation 21:1 -6  LITV)  And I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and the sea no longer is. And I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of Heaven from God, having been prepared as a bride, having been adorned for her Husband. And I heard a great voice out of Heaven, saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God with men! And He will tabernacle with them, and they will be His people, and God Himself will be with them as their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes. And death shall be no longer, nor mourning, nor outcry, nor will there be pain any more; for the first things passed away. And the One sitting on the throne said, Behold! I make all things new. And He says to me, Write, because these Words are faithful and true. And He said to me, It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the Ending. To the one thirsting, I will freely give of the fountain of the Water of Life.

 

As we go into this New Year, there is one thing that I pray for you above all others, and that is that you know from whence your salvation comes. Yes, I pray for health and for prosperity and for peace and safety, but none of that matters if you loose your soul. We have seen by the deaths of so many people, both young and old, that you never know when your last breath will be. Nor do we know how long our loved ones closest to us will be right here with us. I pray, believing for your soul and the soul of your love ones. Never give up on them. Some one was praying for you before you came to the knowledge of the truth, pray without ceasing.

 

And that is the word I have for those Christians who have been going through a dry, dark time. Oh, I wish I could tell you that from the moment you accept Jesus as your savior everything is going to be joy, joy, joy. But the truth is we are still in this flesh and we have real enemies. Both within ourselves and within the world. The Bible tells us how the carnal mind is enmity to God. We need to continually draw nigh unto Him. We need to continually crucify the flesh. As we surrender our will to His, it is His Spirit that renew us. It is the Spirit of the living God that makes that which was once dead spring back to life.

 

If you have had the chance to really reflect upon yourself and have found yourself wanting then today is the day that all things can become new. If you as a Christian have been struggling in the fight then today is the day of your breakthrough and victory. Today is the day that we hear the words of our LORD and come unto Him. He says again to us “Come unto me all ye who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest.”

                                                                                                     

I don’t know about you but that is what I need. I need to rest in the arms of a loving savior. I need to know that I am secure in Him I need to have something more than this world to look forward to; and I have it all in Jesus. Won’t you take off the colored glasses of religion and see the truth of the real relationship that God desires to have with you.  If you will right now open your heart to Him He will come in and you will not only read or hear these great words but you will experience the life giving power of them: “Behold I make all things new!”