Newness of Life
Words from Jesus, unless otherwise indicated
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Anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun.—2 Corinthians 5:171
The things of old are past, and behold, all things are become new! I have made you into a new creature. As the caterpillar that crawls upon the ground and is so close to the dirt and so earthly enters into a cocoon and is changed and comes out as a butterfly, one that flies in the heavens, so is it with you. So have I given you beautiful wings to fly into the heavenly realm as you set your mind and your affection on things above.2 I am turning your mind and your heart heavenward.
Behold, old things are passed away! That which was before is no longer. That which was before is dead and gone. For when the cocoon opens, the caterpillar is gone. It is finished. It has changed, and a new life has come forth—one that flies heavenward and understands and sees things from above, no longer from an earthbound perspective.
Most of us can remember the day or even the hour we accepted Christ as our Savior. Regardless of the details surrounding our conversion, it was a wonderful experience when our sins were forgiven and our eternal home was determined.
But Christ’s death and resurrection did more for us than just spare us from eternal damnation; His saving power is also alive and at work in our daily lives. While we were yet dead in our sins, we could not experience the freedom that life in Christ provides. This freedom gives us victory over our sin and the ability—through the Holy Spirit—to daily live in communion with our Heavenly Father.
This freedom also prepares us for an even deeper relationship with Jesus, a relationship that daily draws us closer to Him and changes our desires and objectives to align with His.
Never lose sight of the journey of freedom and faith that follows salvation.—Author unknown3
Consider the snowflake. What intricate design! What beauties are found there! What countless numbers of snowflakes there are, and yet not one of them is identical—each has its own peculiar design. So are My children—each one special, each one different, each one so dear to My heart, each one so lovingly cared for and attended to, each one following My perfectly designed plan for his or her life. The goal should be the same for each: to find total joy, happiness, and fulfillment in loving and knowing Me.
The day is soon coming when all who believed on Me shall rise to meet Me, and we will laugh and rejoice and be melted together as one. The things of this life will fade away, and we will all blend together as one in My love, joy, and happiness forevermore.
Behold the golden grain as it waves in the breeze. It is a golden field, and the grain is thick and silky. It is the good grain that I have planted in you. See how it has yielded this thick golden grain? Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abides alone, and no gold is shown. But if it die, it brings forth much fruit.4 Be My golden field, brimming with grain, thick and silky, sprouting forth My words, giving forth your bread to the hungry.
Behold the golden sunflower, bright and shining. Its face is fixed on the sun, turning wherever the sun goes, from east to west. Its face seeks the golden rays of light from the sun. The sunflower is faithful to seek and to drink into the very fiber of its being the streams of golden light from the sun, and its face reflects the sunshine it absorbs. Be My golden sunflower, sunning yourself and drinking in and reflecting My light, and encouraging others to do the same.
Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”—yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.”—James 4:13–155
Do not worry or fear for the future, for I have your time and your life in My hands. I am the Creator of the universe, and all power is given unto Me. You can trust Me for your life and for your death. You can trust Me for your future, for your family, and for the care of your loved ones.
You experience fear and doubt when you look at yourself, at your own lack of worthiness, your many faults and shortcomings, your sinfulness. But I say unto you, lift up your eyes to the hills from whence comes your strength. Lift your eyes up to Me. Forget about yourself and your weaknesses, your sins and your shortcomings. Look to Me and My goodness and mercy and love for you.
Be not fearful, but believing. Be not doubtful, but trust. Trust in My love and in the fact that I am the God of the universe, the one who can deliver and can heal, and who gives you resurrection to new life.
God never removes something from our lives without replacing it with something far better.
It might not seem so at the time, but later you will understand—and you will marvel at God’s wisdom and goodness. If God takes away a bad habit that has enslaved you, He will replace it with a better way of living. If He takes away your gossip or cursing or backbiting, He will replace them with words of love and encouragement and praise. If He removes your self-centered motives, He will replace them with the excitement and joy of doing His will.
God’s goal isn’t just to remove the bad things in our lives; He wants to replace them with good things. His plan is to remake us from within, by His Holy Spirit. The Bible says, “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing, and perfect will.”6 That’s what God’s will is like: good, pleasing, and perfect. Why settle for anything less?
People weren’t attracted to [Jesus] because of what He didn’t do; they were attracted to Him because of what He did do. They saw in Him a quality of life they had never seen before, and they wanted to experience it for themselves. When they looked at Christ, they saw joy and peace and kindness—and most of all, they saw God’s love.—Billy Graham7
Originally published in 1997. Adapted and republished November 2013.
Read by Jerry Paladino. Music by Michael Dooley.
2 Colossians 3:2.
3 Every Day with Jesus: Treasures from the Greatest Christian Writers of All Time (Worthy Publishing, 2011).
4 John 12:24.
6 Romans 12:2 NIV.
7 The Journey (Thomas Nelson, 2007).