Posted on Thursday, June 11, 2015 by
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come.” -- 2 Cor. 5:17
Picture it! Listen! Holy voices raised in praise as earthbound (but heaven-headed) souls give their seeking hearts to the Prince of Peace. Choirs peal and cymbals clash in celebration. See the flash and flutter of angels’ wings as upon a mighty updraft they ride heavenly thermals. Joy crystalizes like hard bits of gems that shower the landscape in gold and green glitter. The light of the Son pulses just that much brighter in acknowledgment of the spoken (and prayed) “yes” that opens wide the gate of God’s realm.
A most holy and decidedly miraculous transformation takes place within both heart and mind when, as redeemer and friend, Jesus steps into a life. Yes to him is yes to light and love and life. Yes to Jesus is yes to eternity. What was, is no longer: a newly born creature emerges from that yes. Outward changes notwithstanding, the heart and the mind, in an instant, become what they have never been before: no longer the property of self, rather the joy of Jesus. Paul’s missive to the church in Rome etches an indelible mark in the foundation of faith: “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” (Romans 12:2a) The world struggles to capture the mind, through sights and sounds that negate Jesus. Once that yes has been uttered, the shackles that bind the soul to earth’s puny circumference are suddenly split open in freedom to Jesus. Sight once clouded becomes sharp and clear; ears that heard only a cacophony now hear a symphony’s shout; hearts grayed by sin and shame suddenly pulse red. Jesus changes everything.
In claiming rescue from the world, the saved soul bows in allegiance to Heaven’s King. What better gift than salvation, given by the true Giver, whose love is unrestrained and utterly boundless, whose character is perfect and unchangeable? “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” (James 1:17) Proclaim as believers the solidity of Jesus! Rest in and rely on the knowledge that God WAS, IS, and WILL BE.
Transformation reveals a new soul and a new path. Following the glorious yes, signposts of a different nature and hue mark the journey forward. No longer does the world rule and direct as in the past: Jesus does. Expectation has its root in the Word, not the world. The world fades and the reality of Jesus sharpens. The saved soul longs to live in dependency, wanting nothing more than to elevate and extoll the One whose blood darkens the soil at the foot of Calvary’s cross. Reconciliation presented to all through the shed blood of Jesus is God’s immeasurable gift to mankind, but there is a price: the vow to follow, allegiance to Him through good and bad, through storm and sun, through hill and valley. “We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors,” Paul tells the enlightened, “as though God were making his appeal through us.” (2 Cor. 5:20) The saved soul has a responsibility to Jesus to live a new life in a new way: new eyes, new heart, new direction, new mindset. All new. The old has no bearing, no claim, not a single shred of petition or appeal. The old falls like a withered husk upon dry earth.
The yes of a newly saved soul emerges out of a desire to minimize self while magnifying Jesus. The desire may be born of pain or fear or confusion just as easily as gratitude or joy: the results are the same. Desire born is reciprocally borne by the Savior Of All, he who holds the world in his nail-scarred hands. The cry of the cross becomes an anthem. “We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.” (2 Cor. 4:10) The old ways of behavior and outlook drown in the roiling seas of yesterday. The newly saved soul welcomes a new day and a new heart. A new song must be sung! Can you not hear it?
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Rejoice with me in acknowledging the transforming power of Christ Jesus, which if desired is a simple yes away. Live Jesus. Live him every day, every hour, in whatever circumstance. Proclaim his Name amidst sun or shadow. Be his hands and feet and heart. Yes to Jesus allows a new creature to emerge from the shards of the past. Glory in the promise of life made new!
“For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen.” (Romans 11:36)
Roy Smyth for WMYFC