Every morning before my kids head out the door for school we have a little devotional time. Well, to be more accurate, we try every morning to have a devotional time. Some days, I’m more devoted to exercising my lungs while I hurry them out the door.
On the days they’re dressed and ready and we have a few minutes to spare (yeah, I’m in shock when that happens, too!), we read from a devotional book for preschoolers. There’s a load of wisdom packed into those pages – plenty for an 8-year-old, a 6-year-old and their mama to chew on.
So, today, the inspiration for my post on “new” (this month’s theme) comes from The One Year Devotions for Preschoolers (You never know how God is going to speak, do you? As a mom I’ve discovered He often uses the “from the mouths of babes” method!)
The reading in the devotional draws on 2 Corinthians 5:17 – “Those who become Christians become new persons. They are not the same anymore.”
They are not the same anymore.
The Word of God says that when you give your life to God, you become a new creation. Ezekiel 36:26 says that He removes our “stony hearts of sin and give you new hearts of love.”
But the thing with newness is that it becomes old in a short time. The gazillion versions of the iPhone are a case in point.
But, thankfully, God doesn’t just install a new heart and then walk away. He’s also in the repair and maintenance business. He makes sure his projects never become obsolete. Our Inventor knows how to work out all the cricks and ensure maximum operational efficiency.
Yes, newness of life is a one-time deal and salvation is once forever. But sanctification - that takes a lifetime.
Here are some ways He refreshes us in our faith lives.
He gives us new revelations about ourselves. I love this quote from C.S. Lewis: “The more we let God take us over, the more truly ourselves we become - because He made us. It is when I turn to Christ, when I give up myself to His personality, that I first begin to have a real personality of my own.”
God encourages us to discover our full potential – free from the world’s labels, free from my own inhibitions, free from past mistakes.
He blesses me with new insights into His Word. Expect God to speak through His Word, expect Him to whisper in the stillness. And He will. Of course, that kind of hinges on us actually cracking open the Bible (whaa??) and spending time with Him. But when we meet with Him in humility, He shows up, He speaks.
He gives me new testimonies. Our testimony is not just the one life-altering "yes" when we give our hearts to God. Our daily lives are exhibits of God’s fresh mercies. When we are currently invested in His work, we can testify time and again to His power and His grace.
He offers me fresh plans and new mission fields. No matter how old and spent we may feel, He’s not done with us. The "hope and a future" promised in Jeremiah 29:11 are not just for someone on the brink of adulthood or applicable to Gen Y (or Z or whoever's next). It’s for all of us. There’s still meaningful work for us to do, there's still a promise of life abundant.
He renews and revitalizes me. This thing called life is downright exhausting. Sometimes it’s not just a juggling act - instead we’re playing every role in the circus from the juggler to acrobat to clown! But His Word assures us that in quietness and trust is our strength (Isaiah 30:15). However weighed down we may feel, we can simply lay our burdens at His feet and soar on wings like eagles.
The preschoolers’ devotional goes on to say, “Jesus changes you into the person that God wants you to be.”
Can I really be that person?
I know I can. Simply because God is in charge. I can, because there is a fresh outpouring of His grace every single day.