A fresh start

Re­newal starts with de­vel­op­ing a re­la­tion­ship with God

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - RELIGION - Rev. Dou­glas Roll­wage is a min­is­ter with Zion Pres­by­te­rian Church in Char­lot­te­town. A guest ser­mon runs in The Guardian ev­ery Satur­day and is pro­vided cour­tesy of Chris­tian Com­mu­ni­ca­tions.

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

It is still Jan­uary. - just - so let me be the last to wish you a Happy New Year. And maybe the first to wish you a Happy New You! Wouldn’t it be nice to have a new you? Not just a re­dec­o­rated you. A new you.

Many of our New Year’s res­o­lu­tions, many al­ready for­got­ten, fall into the cat­e­gory of re­dec­o­ra­tion: lose five pounds, change this habit, wear flashier clothes. But re­dec­o­ra­tion of­ten isn’t enough. We need to be re­newed.

Flip through your bibles and find the word “re­new.” You’ll find that God is a God of re­newal:

(Ruth 4:15) He will re­new your life and sus­tain you in your old age.

(Psalms 51:10) Cre­ate in me a clean heart, O God, and re­new a right spirit within me.

(Isa­iah 40:30-31) Those who hope in the LORD will re­new their strength. They will soar on wings like ea­gles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

Who doesn’t want to be re­newed in body, mind and Spirit? A re­newed life? A re­newed spirit? A re­newed you?

And that’s what God can do for you. A happy new year. A happy new you.

(Ezekiel 36:26-28) A new heart I will give you, and a new spirit I will put within you; and I will re­move from your body the heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh... and you shall be my peo­ple and I will be your God.

OK, but how? How do we not set­tle for life re­dec­o­ra­tion, and achieve life ren­o­va­tion? Well, there are three steps, and spend­ing the re­main­ing 11 months work­ing to­gether on them would be a pretty great idea.

Step num­ber one: We need to be re­born. We need to get on our knees be­fore God, and say, “I can’t do it alone. I need your mercy. I need to be re­born. I need a fresh start. I need to be washed from my sins. I need to be re­newed by the Holy Spirit. I need Je­sus to be my Lord.”

Have you done that in your life? Have you asked God for for­give­ness, for new birth, for the gift of the Holy Spirit?

Step num­ber two: We need to be re­newed. Here’s how Paul put it:

“Do not be con­formed to this world, but be trans­formed by the re­new­ing of your minds, so that you may dis­cern what is the will of God–what is good and ac­cept­able and per­fect. (Ro­mans 12:2)

We need to be re­newed, and that re­newal starts with putting the right things into our minds. We need to feed our minds with good food. Soul food. Start with the Bi­ble. Find a great Bi­ble study group, and fill your mind with good things.

Step num­ber three: We need to be re­freshed. The best ren­o­va­tion in the world, if it isn’t prop­erly main­tained, will ul­ti­mately fail. We need con­stant main­te­nance. We need to be re­freshed. Again we hear from Paul: (2 Corinthi­ans 4:16-17)

“There­fore we do not lose heart. Though out­wardly we are wast­ing away, yet in­wardly we are be­ing re­newed day by day. For our light and mo­men­tary trou­bles are achiev­ing for us an eter­nal glory that far out­weighs them all.”

That’s what Sun­day morn­ing is all about - be­ing re­freshed to­gether in God, through wor­ship­ping to­gether with other Chris­tians. Find a church, be faith­ful in at­ten­dance, joy­ful in par­tic­i­pa­tion, and be re­freshed.

We need to be re­born. Re­newed. Re­freshed. And we can be. It can be a happy new you.

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