Summary: God wants us to stop living on "experiences PAST," and to move on to new things He wants to do in our lives today!
ALL THINGS NEW IN 2002
Each December as we approach the New Year, I ask the Lord to give me a theme for the days that lie ahead.
This year, the theme that came to mind is: "All Things New in 2002."
This concept is based on 2 Cor. 5:17 - "Therefore, if anyone be in Christ, he is a new creation, old things are passed away, behold all things are become new." That means if you know Christ as your personal Lord and Savior, all your sins and mistakes and failures are forgiven, and you have a brand new life to live - a life that can please and honor and glorify Jesus.
But I believe we can also apply this verse to ourselves as growing Christians. God wants us to stop living on "experiences PAST," and to move on to new things He wants to do in our lives today! Now, when I say, "New," I’m not talking about some far-out experience that no one has ever had before; but rather, new depths, new heights, new horizons BEYOND the normal and the ordinary.
God has been saying to me, "Jim, I want you to be unsatisfied with the "status quo," I want you to hunger for more, to desire a walk with Me that goes far beyond anything you’ve experienced thus far."
Now, I’m not advocating hopping from "seminar to seminar," looking for the newest spiritual high. Instead, I feel God just wants us to be open to all the exciting new things He wants to do, in us.
As I searched the Scriptures, I found seven new things God has begun, or wants to do in us in this coming year:
I. A NEW SONG OF PRAISE and WORSHIP
Ps. 40:3 "And He has put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it and fear, and shall trust in the Lord."
I believe God wants us to sing new songs of praise to Him continually. That means not only being willing to learn and sing new worship songs; but also developing a deepening intimacy of worship, which will result in new songs of praise being written on our hearts, that we can sing back to God. Col. 3:15 speaks about "singing and making melody in your hearts to the Lord."
In 2002, God wants us to worship Him more deeply than we have ever worshipped before. Because those new songs He gives us will occupy us for all eternity!
"And they sang a new song saying: ’Thou art worthy to take the book and to open the seals. For Thou wast slain and hast redeemed us to God by Thy blood out of every kindred and tongue and people and nation and has made us kings and priests unto our God, and we shall reign on the earth." (Rev. 5:9, 10)
II. NEW DEEDS OF DELIVERANCE
Isa. 42:6-9 "I the Lord have called you in righteousness and will hold your hand and give you a covenant of the people for a light to the Gentiles: to open blinded eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that are in darkness out of the prison house. Behold the former things are come to pass; and new things do I declare, before they spring forth, I tell you of them."
I believe God has "greater deeds of deliverance" for us to perform - that through us, people will be set free from sin and Satan - blinded eyes will be opened, those in prison will be liberated, those in darkness will be brought into the light. God declares it, we must believe it!
In 2002, God wants to give us a new harvest of souls, a new sense of our authority over the enemy, resulting in new deliverances from besetting sins and addictions and demonic oppression.
But in order for this to happen, we must first have:
III. A NEW NAME OF RIGHTEOUSNESS
Isa. 62:2, 3 "And the Gentiles shall see your righteousness and the kings your glory and you shall be called by a NEW NAME. You shall also be a crown of glory in the hand of the LORD and a royal diadem in the hand of your God."
As the world gets darker and darker in 2002, our light must shine brighter and brighter; our righteousness and integrity must far outshine the world’s righteousness, like a gold crown or a many-faceted diamond. That’s why Jesus said: "Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works [righteousness] and glorify your Father in heaven." (Mt. 5:16)
Unbelievers may call us many different names, but the NEW NAME by which we want to be known is "RIGHTEOUSNESS" - people who are
right with God, who treat others right.