“New Beginnings” – that’s the phrase that God has planted in my heart today.

I’ll be preaching at a nursing home tomorrow and all week I thought the message would be about God having a purpose for our lives – it doesn’t matter if we are 35 or 55 or 85, if we are still on this earth, God has a purpose for us. It’s a good message to deliver to residents of nursing homes who often wonder if God has forgotten them. Throughout the week the message wasn’t really coming together, although I had confidence that God would pull it together before I needed it.

Simultaneously Phil had been meditating about a message around the theme of “you’re never too old to learn new things.” He had been considering the passage in Joshua 14 about Caleb’s enthusiasm for going to battle to win new territory for himself and his family when he was 85 years old. After our discussion, we thought we might do a tag-team sermon in which I talked about purpose and then Phil dispelled the notion that they might be too old for a new purpose in life.

But as I said, this morning, the phrase “new beginnings” won’t leave my mind, and I’ve spent the last three hours or so writing about it. Now, at 1:30 in the afternoon, I’m not sure what I have for my message tomorrow and a blog today, and what I’m to do about this new beginnings sermon that is still rough around the edges!

So I am setting the sermon aside for now (it seems to be wandering and when that happens, I know it’s become more me than God, so time to let it simmer a bit more), but want to share a few musings with you that have come out of all this. I’m sure you’ll read much more about it in future blogs, but for today, here are some random “new beginnings” thoughts:

  • I am so thankful that our God is a God of new beginnings. One of the reasons my sermon is wandering is because I am finding more and more passages that support my main points, and each passage is exciting and worthy of exploration.
  • “New beginnings” is a nice little phrase that really means “things are going to change.” While I would not have characterized my younger life this way, as I grow older, resisting change seems more natural than embracing it. And that’s a nice little phrase that really means I really want things to stay the same. Change comes too fast and I am more easily overwhelmed by it. Yet it is the new things that bring freshness to our lives. If we allow them, it is also these new things that bring fun, adventure and a sense of achievement to our lives.
  • There are both specific times when we are “made new” (2 Corinthians 5:17) and there is the continual renewing in Christ (Romans 12:2). Both are wonderful. Both give us a hope and ensure our future.
  • If we don’t embrace that newness, we miss much of what Christ has for us. I don’t want to miss the wonderful plans God has for me. That means I need to actively resist the urge to resist new things.

I guess one way to conclude my musings is with the old adage “The only constant is change.” In doing so, I researched the quote.

  • It is originally attributed to Heraclitus of Ephesus, a Greek philosopher living about 500 BC. Obviously, change isn’t a new thing!
  • Heraclitus was quoted by and expanded upon by the American science fiction writer Isaac Asimov:

The only constant is change, continuing change, inevitable change, that is the dominant factor in society today. No sensible decision can be made any longer without taking into account not only the world as it is, but the world as it will be.
— Isaac Asimov (American professor of biochemisty, science fiction writer, 1920-1992)

Asimov was not a believer, but his quote has special meaning for those of us who are – because we know what the world is now (we live in it), but we know so much more about what the world will be. And that’s the secret to enjoying the change that is about to happen.

Friends, if we are to enjoy and to thrive, if we are to have joy in our walk with Christ, we must embrace the word “new”…and that requires embracing the word “change.” If you’re a person who resists change or doesn’t like change…it’s time to change. Meditate on the firm foundation we have in Christ and the unchanging nature of the God we serve to give you the courage to embrace the new you He wants to develop in 2011.

If you would like to join one of our Living Life on Purpose groups – meeting together monthly with other believers to help one another embrace all God hash for us – be sure to e-mail me this week – Sandy@ApprehendingGrace.com

In the meantime, readers…
I pray God’s richest blessings for you and your family in 2011. May you know Him in a way you never have before. May you experience an intimacy with Him that you have never experienced. May you align your life with His perfect plan in a way it has never been aligned before. May Christ’s love shine in and through you each day.

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