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|Featured Devotion - Featured Devotion|
|Written by Tim Burt|
Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland. (Isa. 43:18-19)There are many reasons people love America. One is because it stands as a place of hope. People who come to our country have heard that "in America, anything is possible." They have heard, "in America, anyone has the opportunity to achieve success."
America also stands for freedom and liberty; and obviously, there are many other things we could write about. But today as we approach this New Year, I would like to focus on hope.
A Fresh Start Awaits
People see our country as a place of hope. For those of us who have been born in and lived in this country all our lives, this powerful word has possibly become dull to us. To someone who has come to this country from another—especially if the place they came from was in turmoil—this land of hope means great things to them.
It mostly means the opportunity for a fresh start exists here…the opportunity to create a new life and succeed in a supportive atmosphere.
To anyone who is a Christian, this should be one of the most empowering and ongoing truths of our lives. As is says in 2 Corinthians:
When someone becomes a Christian, he becomes a brand new person inside. He is not the same anymore. A new life has begun! All these new things are from God who brought us back to Himself through what Christ Jesus did….God is telling us that He is the one who has the power and ability to make our lives new. In fact, God can give us more than a fresh start, He can give us a new start.
Rom 12:2 NKJV uses the word "transformed" which comes from the word metamorphose. Analogous of a caterpillar transformed to a butterfly, it means to be transfigured or completely changed. The verse says, "And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind…."
There CAN BE a powerful work of the Holy Spirit available within those who have received Jesus as their Savior. In other words, He can be at work within us. Romans 8:11 says,
And if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit, who lives in you.Are you catching the strength and power of this verse? It is the source for all hope—for all our ongoing hope!
The Same Spirit
It says that it is the same Spirit that brought Jesus Christ from the grave and resurrected Him to the Father that is also at work within us! The question is; is He at work in us? He is only if we engage in these promises by faith.
The devil would like to have us think that we are helpless creatures—that we can't change, can't overcome our flesh, and that we can't accomplish God-given dreams in our hearts because we are inept or incapable.
What a lie from the pit! What we accomplish isn't about what we accomplish. What we accomplish is about what God accomplishes through us.
Our beginning verse says,
Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.God wants to do a new thing in us.
If you were to go to the chapter where these verses are written you would see that for many this wasn't be true because they didn't know their God; they didn't know of His desire to work in and through them. These were the same people who don't praise Him for who He is.
A Fresh Start
How about you? Do you know your God? Do you know His will for your life? Did you know that the same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead is the power that CAN BE at work through you by faith?
To me this always creates and renews great hope. I have watched God transform my life little by little over the past 24 years and it has been nothing short of miraculous.
I won't let it stop now. I am praying and thinking about this New Year and a fresh start to things I know God has been dealing with me about. The New Year represents a new start to a New Year. I believe it is part of God's doing to help us think new and afresh.
Just remember that as a Christian, you don't fall into the same category as the world. You have the transforming power of God available within you.
Because of that, I pray next year will be your best yet!
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