Starting Over

Monday, March 13, 2017, 12:39 a.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song “Give Me Jesus.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read Revelation 21:1-8 (NASB).

They’ve Passed Away (vv. 1-4)

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.”

This is a wonderful picture of what we have to look forward to one day if we have been born anew of the Spirit of God by faith in Jesus Christ. Yet, it is also a picture of our salvation, and of God’s amazing grace to us. When we trust in Jesus Christ to be our Lord and Savior, via God-given faith, he changes our hearts. We die with him to our old lives of living in sin, and we are resurrected with him to new lives in him, created to be like him in true righteousness and holiness. The old is gone. The new has come. The old way we used to live has now passed away. Our sins have been put to death. They no longer define who we are. We are now defined by God’s grace to us.

Whereas we were once dead in our sins, now God has made us alive in Him. We were once separate from God, and without hope, but now we have hope. Now we have a future. And, we have forgiveness and the chance to begin life anew and to have a fresh new start. Whatever we did in our past is now washed clean by the blood of Jesus Christ, shed on a cross for our sins. He wiped the slate clean. Yet, this is not to say that there won’t be natural consequences from some of the things we did in our pasts, but it is to say that God’s grace has made us new, and he has delivered us out of that slavery to sin. He has made it so we can now become slaves of him and of his righteousness. Now he can be truly Lord of our lives.

When we believe in Jesus Christ with God-given faith, and we trust him now with our lives, having turned from our sin to God, to follow him in his ways, our God now comes to live within us in the person of the Holy Spirit. We are now his temple and he abides in us and us in him. We are his people, the sheep of his pasture, and he is our God, our Lord, and our husband. And, we are his bride, made pure by Jesus’ sacrifice for sins on a cross. For, when he died he became sin for us so that our sins died with him and were buried with him. And, then he was resurrected from the dead in victory over sin, hell, Satan and death, on our behalf, so that we could live with him in victory over sin. Sin is no longer our master, because Jesus set us free!

Yet, while we still live on this earth, we will be tempted to sin, and we will be sinned against by others, and we will experience sorrow, heartache, betrayal, rejection, abuse, misuse, and misunderstandings, too. We will also experience pain, sickness, loss, hurt, and death, sometimes the death of someone we love dearly who is close to our hearts. Too, we will hurt for others in their sorrow or in their temptations, and we will grieve over those who sin and who will not repent, for we know their eternal destiny, and we want to see them come to faith in Jesus Christ. Yet, one day, too, that will all be gone, and it will be no more, and our Lord will wipe away every tear from our eyes. For some of us, those have been many.

All Things New (vv. 5-8)

And He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” And He *said, “Write, for these words are faithful and true.” Then He said to me, “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life without cost. He who overcomes will inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son. But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”

I love this: “Behold, I am making all things new.” Isn’t that a wonderful description of our salvation? And, of God’s grace? We are not saved because we deserve it. We are saved because of God’s grace, and because he loved us even when we were yet sinners. None of us are beyond his grace, no matter where we have been or what we have done. God loves us, not because of the good we have done, but because he is love. And, because he is gracious and merciful. I am so thankful for his amazing grace, aren’t you?

There are so many people on this earth, though, who still have not experienced God’s amazing grace. They thirst for something, but nothing satisfies the deep longings of their souls, and so they go from this to that trying to fill the emptiness, only coming up empty time and time again. It is because they are searching in all the wrong places for things which will never satisfy, but which will always leave them feeling empty inside. So, our Lord counsels them to thirst for him and for his righteousness, and they will be satisfied with all good things, not necessarily of this life, but of the Spirit of God, who will fill their lives to overflowing with God’s love and grace. He will give them purpose for living and a new lease on life, so they can now walk in freedom, and be freed from their bondage (addiction) to sin. Amen!

Yet, we need to understand here that God’s grace to us is not just an escape from hell and the promise of heaven when we die. His grace is not a free license to continue in sin while claiming heaven as our eternal destiny, either. His grace, which brings salvation, teaches us to say “NO!” to ungodliness and worldly passions and desires, and to live upright, godly and self-controlled lives while we wait for Christ’s return. If we say we have fellowship with God, but we walk (in lifestyle) in darkness (sin), we are liars, and we don’t live by the truth. If we live a lifestyle of wickedness – lying, cheating, idolatry, immorality, and the like, we don’t have the hope of heaven, and all the good things this passage talks about will not be ours.

So, if you are living a life of sin without genuine repentance, and you continue on this course, and you do not turn from your sin to obey God with your life, then don’t count on heaven as your eternal home. It is those who overcome who will inherit eternal life with God. So, be an overcomer! Turn from your life of sin today. Stop seeking after what will never satisfy! And, trust Jesus completely with your life now before it is too late.

Give Me Jesus
Oh, What Gladness!

An Original Work / December 2, 2013

Give me Jesus. He’s my Savior.
I’ll walk with Him in His favor.
I’ll abide in His love always;
Follow His ways to the end.

Jesus is the Son of God.
He died upon a cruel cross.
He’s forgiven all my failures
By His mercy and His love.

Give me Jesus – His compassion,
And His mercy; loving kindness.
Let Him teach me how to love Him,
And to please Him. He’s my friend.

Jesus died for all our sin
So we could have eternal life.
He will free you from your bondage
If you trust Him with your life.

Give me Jesus. Let me trust Him.
May I listen to His teachings.
May I follow where He leads me
In His service. He’s my Lord.

Jesus Christ will come again
To take His bride to be with Him.
Oh, what gladness; free from sadness
When I meet Him in the air.

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