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Brand New

April 13, 2017

“He who was seated on the throne said, ‘I am making everything new!’” Revelation 21:5

I love the smell of a new car. You open the door and, wow, there’s just something about it! If you were like me, you’d buy it just for the aroma. The problem is, soon after you get the car home, the smell’s gone, and all you’re left with are maintenance bills and a whole bunch of payments.

One time Martie and I obliterated any remnants of that “new car” smell on the way to a church dinner. It was one of those all-church affairs where everyone had to bring some food to share. Martie had cooked up a killer ham, complete with all the trimmings and lots of spiced up ham juice filling the bottom of the pan. The dish was perched in the back of the car and—you guessed it—I had to slam on the brakes. Ham juice sloshed all over the seat and the floor! The car never smelled the same again.

What happened to our car on the way to the potluck dinner is a clear reminder that all the stuff that is new and wonderful is headed toward the dumper. Everything starts with the sizzle of “new” only to become old and tatty. The latest piece of technological wizardry is outdated before you get it home from the store. Clothes get ripped, stained, or, even worse, go out of fashion! Our bodies are headed toward the grave and on the way accumulate sags, wrinkles, failing memories, and knees that refuse to cooperate. Nothing stays new. That’s the bad news.

But here’s the good news. God is in the enterprise of making all things new. Look at what the apostle John says in Revelation 21:1-27. He begins the chapter by assuring us that the day is coming when God will make all things new! And what He makes new will never grow old. There will be a new heaven and a new earth: A new place for us to live free of air pollution, flooded basements, peeling wallpaper, and leaky faucets. And, best of all, no global warming, just global glory from the throne of God!

Then John shares the glorious news that all the old things will be destroyed forever. Good riddance to this broken-down, decaying, worn-out world. And better yet, we will no longer have to deal with all the residuals of sin. There will be no more death, no more sorrow, no more pain. In fact, God Himself will wipe away all of our tears. As the text says, old things will pass away and all things will become new!

Just the thought of it makes me really glad to be a child of God. And to everyone who looks at followers of Christ as being old-fashioned and retro, they better think again. If anyone is all about the future and everything that is new, it’s us! But looking forward to all that is new in Jesus is not an excuse to hunker down and check out of interaction with this fading-away world. As Paul says, we are already new creations in Jesus (2 Corinthians 5:17) and are called to start living out our newness in our encounters with this fallen world. Love, forgiveness, generosity, compassion, justice, mercy, and righteousness are just a few of the new things that will last forever!

So let’s get started! It’s time to start showing everyone you meet a “sneak preview” of the really big show to come!

YOUR JOURNEY…

  • Think about some of your possessions. How have they lost their “newness”? Why is it futile to expect satisfaction and hope out of material objects?
  • Consider your health. How have you experienced the reality of time’s attacks on your body? Read 2 Corinthians 4:16 for a good dose of encouragement!
  • Have you become a new creation through faith in Christ? Are you part of His new community?
  • How does it impact your priorities to realize that God will one day give His followers a new body?