By Kyle Smith, Lt. Colonel–
One of my favorite verses in the Bible is 2 Corinthians 5:17: Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!
I love this verse.
The old is gone…The new has come.
I don’t know about you, but this is one of those verses that never grows old to me. Whenever I read it in the Bible, I get goosebumps. It captures the very essence of everything I believe.
It inspires hope. It reminds me about the goodness of our Savior and Lord Jesus, who takes away the old—the shame, the hurt, the anger, the sin, the dirt—and replaces it with something new, something fresh, something clean. He renews.
I need to be constantly reminded of this. I know we often tell others, but we need to remind ourselves: God gives new beginnings. He sets us free from our past—our mistakes, our failures, our sins of omission and commission.
God also wants to do this for our enemies. To be honest, I sometimes feel like Jonah and I am not sure I want to see it, let alone be part of it. But God calls us to deliver this good news to all people—friend or foe. This is liberational, this is what sets us apart, this is what Jesus asks: to love our enemies.
As we go into this new year, God wants to do something new in you—in your family, in your community, at your Salvation Army, with your foes. God wants to do something good. I don’t know exactly what it is, but I know it involves us and others, being liberated, being transformed, being recreated, being renewed, having our souls refreshed.
Let’s be honest. There is a good chance we may have already failed to live up to our New Year’s commitments of eating less, praying more, being kinder. But God has not given up on us.
When we are fearful of the future, worried we will not be able to handle the task, overwhelmed and unsure of how we can do what God asks of us, remember: God does not give up on us; he has not given up on you. Instead, he promises the grace to meet the task.
Here is a song many of you know, from the musical “Hosea” (Gowans and Larsson).
His Love Remains The Same
Don’t assume that God’s dismissed you from his mind,
Don’t assume that God’s forgotten to be kind;
For no matter what you do, his love still follows you;
Don’t think that you have left him far behind.
For his love remains the same,
He knows you by your name,
Don’t think because you failed him he despairs;
For he gives to those who ask
His grace for every task,
God plans for you in love for he still cares.
Don’t assume that God will plan for you no more,
Don’t assume that there’s no future to explore;
For your life he’ll re-design, the pattern be divine;
Don’t think that your repentance he’ll ignore.
Don’t assume you cannot give what he’ll demand,
Don’t assume that God condemns you out of hand;
For he gives to those who ask his grace for every task;
Don’t think that God will fail to understand.
Don’t assume it’s too late. Don’t assume that God cannot do something great.
This year, assume new beginnings.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! (2 Cor: 5:17).
Let’s ask God to do something new in our lives this year.
- Pick a Scripture study to follow this week and read one part each day for the next four days. On the fifth day, send it to someone you think would also benefit from it.
- See how you can get involved in the Fight for Good at westernusa.salvationarmy.org.
- Did you know The Salvation Army served more than 23 million Americans last year fighting hunger, homelessness, substance abuse and more—all in a fight for good? Where can you help? Take our quiz to find your cause and learn how you can join in today.