“Forget about what’s happened;
don’t keep going over old history.
Be alert, be present. I’m about to do something brand-new.
Isaiah 43:18–19 (The Message)
Bob Gass says that “It’s dangerous to assume that you’ll keep getting from life only what you’ve gotten before. God has wonderful ways of giving back purpose and meaning to our lives when we’ve lost it.”
I find it interesting that even though our sacred scriptures are ancient documents, dating back thousands of years, and written into cultures and societies that are utterly alien to us today, yet these documents have a constant refrain that tells us to stop looking back to what we had, and to look forward with expectation, to a new thing that God is going to do.
If you like to read your Bible it won’t take you long to recognise that God likes new things. We might remember the old chorus that was taken from Lamentations 3:23 in the ESV.
22 The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
23 they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
So we know that His compassion, his love, and His mercies are new every morning, not just the mornings that I get out of bed feeling ready to take the day on. Even when I don’t feel so good in the morning I know from the scripture that even if I could have used up all God’s love and mercies for me yesterday, there is a fresh batch ready for me every morning. The promise is that they will never come to an end. So we can start the day with a song or two in our hearts because: –
It’s a New Day
It’s a new day
It’s a new day
It’s a new day of the Lord
It’s a day of joy and gladness
of victory to be won,
It’s a day of walking arm in arm
With Jesus Christ God’s son.
In John chapter three we read of Nicodemus who came to Jesus by night. He was trying to figure out what Jesus was all about. Jesus told him that he needed to start again or be born again, a fresh start from day one of a new life in Christ.
John 3:3 (ESV)
3 Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
Paul explained this a little bit further; he wrote in:-
2 Corinthians 5:17 (NKJV)
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new
Friends God is into new things. New beginnings and fresh starts. He is the great I AM every day He is the same every day, always present, always now, always there for us.
As our title text for this week’s devotional tells us, God is doing a new thing. It was true nearly three thousand years ago and it is true today. We are on the cusp of a whole new chapter in the life of our church. As we found out last Sunday, the church is not the same as it was before Covid. What was once normal is now gone forever as we learn to live with the new reality, the ‘new’ normal. There are many new things that we will all experience in the coming weeks and months. Some of them might make us feel a little uncomfortable, and some of them might excite us. Even if it is a new experience for us, we can be sure that God was not taken by surprise. No matter what the crisis dealt to us, the Lord showed us ways to stay connected as a church family, to thrive and grow strong. We are not tied down by the way we have always done things because we can no longer do those things anymore. We can be sure that our God, who is not limited by time, will continue to reveal His great Kingdom plan for our church in the weeks and months ahead.
The question remains then as to how each of us will respond to the ‘new’ normal? Will we rise to the challenge and seek to serve God in whatever way He leads us, or will you choose to just wish for the ‘good’ old days and retire from serving Him, because it’s not the same any longer. There has never been a better opportunity to start afresh. The challenge is for us to respond to God’s brand new day with a brand new outlook. Ask God to reveal to you how He wishes to use you in this season, remember “old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new“.
Just in case you think that all these new ideas come just from the Old Testament why don’t we wind up this devotional by looking at the very end of the Bible. The second last chapter of Revelation.
Revelation 21:5 (NKJV)
5 Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.”
All things new, and faithful, and true, kind of has a ring to it doesn’t it?
Just keep your heart open, for He has some new things He wants to do and some new people He’d like you to meet in the days ahead.
 Bob Gass, A Fresh Word For Today : 365 Insights For Daily Living (Alachua, FL: Bridge-Logos Publishers, 1998), 198.