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Wednesday, April 8, 2015
"Walking In Newness Of Life"
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"And with great power the apostles were giving testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and abundant grace was upon them all" (Acts 4:33). "Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life" (Romans 6:4).
Today let us consider new life. We see it all around us; the greening fields, the young calves in their hutches, and even the unpleasant odor of manure as farmers begin spreading this ever abounding, renewable fertilizer resource! (it's really smelled bad the last couple of days!)
Yesterday I found a little bird in our barn and managed to pick him up and take him outside. He contentedly perched for a few minutes on my finger before flying away. Spring is a season of new life and what a powerful reminder it is today of God's call for all who follow Christ to "walk in newness of life".
Our first daily text describes church life shortly after Christ ascended. The church was newly birthed and filled with zealous believers: "And with great power the apostles were giving testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and abundant grace was upon them all." It was all so new and exciting!
But new can become old and a new challenge emerges both for individuals and churches. How do you keep it new and fresh when it's "old"?
I want to focus on a single phrase in the second daily Scripture portion. "So we too might walk in newness of life." The apostle Paul is writing and by now is well along in his life as a Christian believer. Many years have passed since he was dramatically converted on the road to Damascus and he began his new walk with Christ. The major transformation that began that day initiated his growing journey of faith and active service for the Lord. But for him it was no longer new. That's a healthy peril of staying faithful to what one hymn writer calls the "old, old story".
The Father sent Jesus that we might have life. One of the great teachings of Christ was when he declared prior to His death, "I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly" (John 10:10).
Christ died for our sins and was indeed raised from the dead through the glory of the Father and He has ordained a new life for His redeemed children. The apostle Paul uses the 1st person plural indicating that this was a very personal experience for him, not merely an injunction to his readers. The sense of this "new life" is active and ongoing. The Amplified Bible expresses it "so that we too may habitually live and behave in newness of life."
Genuine conversion leads to a new life! The verb for live or walk is in the present tense. It seems we may have a tendency to see the "new life" as the time that immediately follows our conversion to Christ and it is indeed a real joy to experience this phase. But I accepted Christ over 40 years ago, some of you long before that, and others more recently. We may feel this "newness of life" stage is long past. O, how we are mistaken!
Let us consider these words from the apostle Paul, who is surely very mature in his walk at this time. He speaks of living (present tense) in newness of life. So whether we are a new Christian or a seasoned veteran let us hear the words of the resurrected Lord and let us live this day in newness of life! My prayer for each reader and for myself: Lord, help us today to experience the new life you have given us!
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, as we embrace the cross of Calvary and apply Christ's redemptive blood to our hearts we find newness of life. We are no longer bound by the chains that fettered us to sin. What great liberty and boundless joy to know that our names are written down in heaven. If we set our hearts on this world, or declare allegiance to those things which have no eternal merit, we will wear down and lose the joy that comes with newness of life. But as we set our hopes and joys on serving Christ, the joy of our salvation is ongoing, uplifting, and a testimony to all who seek answers that this world cannot provide. Like the early apostles may we, give testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. Thank You for raising Christ from the dead so that we can be redeemed and walk in newness of life everyday! In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.
This morning I visited for a few minutes with Mark Griffin, whom Brooksyne and I met in the course of our chaplaincy ministry. Four years ago Mark went through a time of transition and I recall meeting with him in the lobby of the Lancaster Marriott hotel to encourage and pray with him.
He felt the Lord's calling to establish a Christian-based HR consulting firm to assist others who are seeking to practice HR using Biblical Principles and he established In HIS Name HR. Today we rejoiced at God's blessings on his endeavor as he has assisted businesses seeking to honor Christ not only here in the states but in several overseas countries as well.
Mark was presenting a teaching on using LinkedIn at the meeting I was at this morning.
I also visited with Dave Balinski who is our area director for CBMC, which sponsored the event. Dave has done a tremendous job of developing and overseeing CBMC groups here in central Pennsylvania where we now have 21 groups.
CBMC is a a group of people in the marketplace living out our faith in authentic relationships. The goal is to present Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord to business and professional men and to develop Christian business and professional men to carry out the Great Commission. We are grateful for the many ministries that seeks to present the message of Christ out in the marketplace.
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"Bring Back the New Again" Video The Worship Crew Brooksyne recalled this old song from our early years written by Gordon Jensen.
"Because He Lives!" Video Wes Hampton
"Glorious Freedom" Video GVB
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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.
Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."
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