I Make All Things New

I Make All Things New
I suppose it seems appropriate on New Year’s Day to talk about new things. Have you made any resolutions yet? How many of them concerned the things of God?

I want to talk to you about four new things that God brings to life today.

A new song to sing
A new road to travel
A new way to think
A new ending to the story

A New Song to Sing

Why do we sing?

Whether we think we have a good voice or not we sing because something inside us wants out!

It is cathartic to translate that into melody, into song

My life flows on in endless song,
above earth’s lamentation.
I hear the clear, though faroff hymn
that hails a new creation.

No storm can shake my inmost calm
while to that Rock I’m clinging.
Since love is Lord of heaven and earth,
how can I keep from singing?

That’s how Robert Lowry put it in 1860 when he wrote the hymn “My Life Flows On in Endless Song.” Many, many, many years before that Jeremiah put it another way:

7 You deceived[a] me, LORD, and I was deceived[b]; you overpowered me and prevailed. I am 8ridiculed all day long; everyone mocks me. Whenever I speak, I cry out proclaiming violence and destruction. So the word of the LORD has brought me insult and reproach all day 9long. But if I say, “I will not mention his word or speak anymore in his name,” his word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot.

We have not just been given the good news. We are the good news! That is the new song that God places in the heart of the redeemed. It is loud, it is exuberant, and it is never intended to be just our song. We must sing it to the world.

Imagine the world is just one big shower.
Imagine the word is your car with the windows rolled up.
Image “all the world is a stage” and you are on it, because it is, and you are!

A New Road to Travel

So frequently when we talk about traveling the road of life the first scripture that comes to mind is this:

3 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to 14 destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

Truth be told, the life of faith is challenging. But too often we present at just that, instead of emphasizing not what you have to lose but what you receive instead. Listen to what Isaiah says:

5 Then will the eyes of the blind be opened
and the ears of the deaf unstopped.
6 Then will the lame leap like a deer,
and the mute tongue shout for joy.
Water will gush forth in the wilderness
and streams in the desert.
7 The burning sand will become a pool,
the thirsty ground bubbling springs.
In the haunts where jackals once lay,
grass and reeds and papyrus will grow.
8 And a highway will be there;
it will be called the Way of Holiness;
it will be for those who walk on that Way.
The unclean will not journey on it;
wicked fools will not go about on it.
9 No lion will be there,
nor any ravenous beast;
they will not be found there.
But only the redeemed will walk there, 10 and those the LORD has rescued will return.
They will enter Zion with singing;
everlasting joy will crown their heads.
Gladness and joy will overtake them,
and sorrow and sighing will flee away

Doesn’t that sound like a road you’d want to walk on?

A road where you are overtaken with gladness and joy!

A road where sorrow and sighing flee away!

A road where there are no ravenous beasts!

What is that ravenous beast? Death.

Yes, other things will beset you, but death has no power!

Yes, the old things of your life will pass away, but they will not be torn from you kicking and screaming. You will surrender them as God’s Spirit changes your life.

A New Way to Think

2 Corinthians 5:16-21 says:

16 So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded 17 Christ in this way, we do so no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has
18 come:[a] The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself 19 through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the 20 message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were 21 making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin[b] for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

What does it mean to regard someone “from a worldly point of view?” Since verse 16 starts with a transitional “so” let’s go back a little. Verse 15 says:

15 And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.

Did you catch that? “…that those who live should no longer live for themselves…”

The old way of thinking considers people by what they can do for us

The new way of thinking considers people by what we can do for them

The old way of thinking is that we are better than everyone else

The new way of thinking says, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves” (Phil 2:3)

The old way of thinking is “I value you based on what you are worth to me

The new way of thinking is “I value you based on what you are worth to God

And what is the point behind all this new thinking?

Christ gave us the ministry of reconciliation

We are Christ’s ambassadors

Who do you think can reconcile more people to God? Who presents the more attractive gospel?

Is it the humble servant or the proud peacock?

Is it the joyful follower or the sad sack?

Is it the justified optimist or the unexplainable pessimist? (elaborate)

To boil it all down… do people look at you and think, “I want to be like that!”
If your thinking is different, if your thinking is new… they will!

A New Ending to the Story

The story of what? The story of life? The story of death?

The story of both

What was the old ending?

You get 70-100 years here (seems like a long time) but an eternity separated from God. (seems like a long time… it is)

What is the new ending?

1 Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,”[a] for the first heaven and the first earth had 2passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming 3down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the
people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them 4and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’[b] or 5mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”

It’s all about discipline and patience. (There’s two dirty words for you)

It’s about trading the temporary for the eternal.

It’s about giving God 70 or 80 years in exchange for God giving you eternity.

Look at what verse 4 says. (read)

No more death, mourning, crying or pain.

If they are “no more” in the end then they must be present throughout the story itself.

We will experience those things. God never promises otherwise. But, again, it is about discipline and patience and the hand of God leading you through those difficult times.

After all that you need to know one last thing:

This is not a sermon for New Year’s Day. This is a sermon for every day. For those who were here last week you’ll remember that I talked about what we can give God.

He gives us presence. We give Him the present.

We can’t give Him the past because it’s gone. We can’t give Him the future because we don’t have it.

What can we give Him? The present

And because we live in the present we also live in a continual state of newness.

Every moment is a moment to start over

Will there be consequences from our past actions? Absolutely.

Can any of those consequences, or anything for that matter, separate us from God and from experiencing “all things new?” Absolutely not.

So this is a message for all time. This is a message for every waking moment of your life.

God is giving you a

New song to sing

New road to travel

New way to think

New ending to your story


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