Saturday, January 3, 2015

All Things New

He who sits on the throne said,
“Behold, I am making all things new.”
—Revelation 21:5

It’s a new year! And we have several new things. Thanks to the amazing generosity of our church, our Christmas was merry indeed! The girls have beautiful new outfits, and my son is thrilled with his new toys.

It’s fun to have new things, isn’t it? I don’t care how old you are, admit it: you get a little excited to tear off the wrapping paper and open the seal to something new-with-tags or wrapped in cellophane. (As long as the packaging doesn’t have a zillion twist ties, that is. Then that’s a totally different feeling. Oy vey!)

New things are especially fun to the four of us because everything is pretty old around here. We’ve lived in this house for almost eight years. Most of our furniture came from friends or Craigslist. As I was setting up for our New Year’s Eve party, I sighed over my rickety kitchen table with the vinyl-peeling chairs and my well-loved sofa with the cushions that don’t stay put anymore. Over the years, so many people have gathered in our home for church events or parties or Bible studies or sleepovers or general hanging out (oh, if these walls could talk!) that all our furniture is wearing out.

I confess: as I dusted my stained and sticky (from what? Ew, I have no idea) coffee table, I wondered what it would be like to have all new things.


At breakfast yesterday, we poured cereal in my chipped Pfaltzgraff bowls and opened our family devotional: One Year of Dinner Table Devotions and Discussion Starters.

My oldest daughter began reading aloud. But when she got to this part, I made her stop and reread it:

The reality is that everything on this earth is wearing out. Everything breaks down.  
And in the midst of that reality, God says, “I am making everything new!” When we hear this we typically think of new in terms of replacing something old. But God doesn’t say he is making all new things. He is making all things new—in other words, he’s making things better, fresher, brighter, and stronger.

Think about that with me for a sec:

God doesn’t say, “Behold, I am making all new things!”

He says, “Behold, I am making all things new!”

So what? you may wonder. What’s the difference? Why does that phrase matter?

Here’s why.

Have you ever wanted to have a fresh start—even gone as far as making New Year’s resolutions or joining a gym—and then given up, thinking, “It’s hopeless. I’ll never change. That’s just the way I am”?

Have you ever wanted to make something new of your life, but you’ve been afraid to begin, thinking, “God can’t use me because of what I’ve done. I’ve made too many mistakes. I don’t deserve another chance”?

Have you ever wanted to try something new but thought, “I’ll never be able to do that because of what has happened to me. I’m too hurt, too scarred, too weak. I can’t start over now”?

If so, then listen closely to this.

God doesn’t say, “I am making all new things!” He’s not going to discard all of us messed-up, wounded people and replace us with brand-new, flawless ones.

Instead, God says, “I am making all things new!” He’s going to take you and me—all of us who are worn out and rickety and scarred—and he’s going to make us new.

  • Incidentally, the Greek word translated “new” in Revelation 21:5 doesn’t mean new as in “never before existed.” It means new as in “renewed, restored, refreshed.” It’s not new in time, but new in form. This is the same word used in 2 Corinthians 5:17 (If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature…”) and Ephesians 4:24 (“Put on the new self…”).

God isn’t going to start over by making all new things.

He’s going to finish what He started by making all things new.

And that includes you and me.

You are NOT too old, too hurt, too guilty, too set in your ways, or too hopeless for God to use you. It’s not too late for a second chance. God is going to finish what He started in you!

2015 can be your “new” year—the year God will refresh, restore, and renew you. And trust me, the new thing He will make out of your life will be even more beautiful because of your story so far. 

In this new year, let’s lean into God and watch as He makes all things new!