All Things New

My friend enjoys finding a vintage (better than old, right?) car and taking it apart, fixing the broken things, redoing the upholstery, and giving it new paint.  A few years ago he took me to see his latest project. Proudly he raised the hood of a car more than a half-century old so I could listen to the engine, running smoothly. He showed me the interior, looking like it just came from the factory.

He had found it in a barn where it had sat for decades. To me it was a wreck, destined for the junkyard. The paint was dull with spots of rust. The upholstery was ripped, the window latches broken. The engine ran, but the transmission was gone. To him, it was a treasure waiting to be uncovered. One year later, there it was, looking like brand-new: restored!

Has life beat you up, left you feeling worn and hopeless? People get broken, used up, neglected. Some do it to themselves with poor choices. Others are victims of cruelty. Some have met disappointment. Some have had their mind or body break. Tragically, broken people sometimes get ignored, pushed to the side, judged. Is that your story?  

The truth is that WE ALL are bent, broken by sin; but we are not beyond redemption! One of the hardest truths to face is God’s declaration of the universality of sin:  “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23, NIV) The sinfulness of humanity separates us from our Father, breaks us down, and robs us of our true destiny.

But God … He is the Maker of New Hearts, the Giver of New Beginnings, the Healer of the Broken. IF we will face up to our sin, admit that we are broken, abandon our weak attempts to excuse our failures, God says that He will give a new life. “What this means is that those who become Christians become new persons. They are not the same anymore, for the old life is gone. A new life has begun!” (2 Corinthians 5:17, NLT)  In my years as a Pastor one of the great wonders is watching God, the Spirit, transform a person who has given up on life into a person of hope as they become new from the inside out.

The transformation is seldom an overnight miracle! It is a process, growing into grace, usually with some stumbles along the way. My friend who restores antique cars has a vision I do not have. He can see past the rust, the busted parts, to the gleaning restoration that will emerge under his touch over the course of months of work.  When we choose Christ, we begin to walk a road that is not an easy one, but as we lean on Christ Jesus, He takes the old and makes it new.

The Devil seeks to sabotage and destroy every good thing God does in our world and in us. This is Jesus’ promise – that He “is greater than he that is in this world.” God has spoken: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life. He who overcomes will inherit all this, and I will be his God and he will be my son.” (Revelation 21:6-7, NIV)

Bent, broken by life and the sin in yourself and/or those who live around you? There is a Redeemer, God’s own Son. Let Him restore the beauty God meant for your life.

Here’s a restoration prayer from the Word. “All of us used to live that way, following the passions and desires of our evil nature. We were born with an evil nature, and we were under God’s anger just like everyone else. But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so very much, that even while we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s special favor that you have been saved!) For he raised us from the dead along with Christ, and we are seated with him in the heavenly realms—all because we are one with Christ Jesus.” (Ephesians 2:3-6, NLT)

For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so that we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” (Ephesians 2:10, NLT)

(Video of this blog at this link)


Graves Into Gardens

I searched the world but it couldn’t fill me
Man’s empty praise and treasures that fade
Are never enough
Then You came along and put me back together
And every desire is now satisfied here in Your love

Oh there’s nothing better than You
There’s nothing better than You
Lord there’s nothing
Nothing is better than You

I’m not afraid to show You my weakness
My failures and flaws
Lord You’ve seen them all
And You still call me friend
‘Cause the God of the mountain
Is the God of the valley
There’s not a place
Your mercy and grace won’t find me again

You turn mourning to dancing
You give beauty for ashes
You turn shame into glory
You’re the only one who can
You turn graves into gardens
You turn bones into armies
You turn seas into highways
You’re the only one who can

Brandon Lake | Chris Brown | Steven Furtick | Tiffany Hudson © 2019 Brandon Lake Music (Admin. by Bethel Music Publishing) Maverick City Publishing Worldwide (Admin. by Bethel Music Publishing) Music by Elevation Worship Publishing (Admin. by Essential Music Publishing LLC) Bethel Music Publishing

CCLI License # 810055

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