NEW YEAR MEDITATION

 “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.’” – Revelation 21:5

These words obviously apply to the ‘new heaven’ and the ‘new earth’ that are established after the final removal of all evil and of all that evil brought into the world.

But the present tense of the words ‘I am making everything new!’ gives us not only a certain hope for the future beyond the judgement day, but a sure certainty that right now, even as we live today, God is already actively engaged in this process of making everything new. There is evidence of God’s renewing activity throughout the scripture, and this helps us to understand that the renewal in Revelation 21 and 22 is the culmination, the final completion, of an action and a purpose of God [Father, Son and Spirit] that has been happening in human space and human time ever since the need for renewal began.

God is making everything new.

Already there is individual spiritual renewal.

Already there is individual spiritual restoration.

Already there is individual spiritual healing.

Already God has given us new life in Christ.

Already the new creation, the new spiritual kingdom, has begun for all who are in Christ.

Already, at the spiritual level, the old has gone, the new has come. 

Already we enter the presence of God by a new and living way through the blood of Christ.

Already he has put a new heart and a new spirit within us.

Already he has put a new song in our hearts.

For individuals God has already done the biggest and most important ‘new’ thing.

All that remains of the ‘old’ is the presence of sin and suffering.

Romans 8 clearly expresses this distinction, this tension, between the ‘new’ that God is already doing whenever a person comes to faith in his Son and the ‘new’ yet to be completed.

We have already been removed from condemnation and accusation [8:1,31-34]

We already are indwelt by Christ and by the Spirit [8:9-11]

We are already God’s children [8:14-16]

But …

We are still in the era of suffering [8:18-27]

We still wait to be redeemed (liberated) from physical suffering [8:21,23]

We still wait eagerly for our ‘adoption as sons’ [8:23].

The ‘new’ is already breaking into the ‘old’. God is already making all things new. It is easy to miss this. It is easy to be so anxious for and focused on the future new reality, or so focused on and anxious about the present old reality, that we rob ourselves of the tremendous joy, peace and contentment that is already ours in and because of Christ, and we also rob God of our present thankfulness and praise.

As we move into a new year let us deliberately align ourselves with the renewing activity of God:

This year, let us say ‘no’ to the sin that belongs to our old reality.

This year, let us say ‘no’ to causing further suffering by our sinful attitudes, words and actions.

This year, let us say ‘yes’ to relieving human suffering caused by the Genesis 3 entry of sin.

This year, let us live with joy because we have already been made new in Christ.

© Rosemary Bardsley 2017