Each new year is a needed time for fresh starts. It is an opportunity to refresh, renew, and catch a new lift of vision for the worthwhile task. While spring has not yet come, winter is dragging by, and the gloom of gray skies attempts to hold our spirits hostage, January and February burst on the scene with a new-leaf mentality.
It is like the metamorphic transformation of a butterfly—changing from a lowly, crawling caterpillar to a glistening, soaring butterfly. Or a locust—shedding its limiting, hard shell which impedes its growth, mobility, and development to emerge as a new and improved creature. Or perhaps it could be likened to a lobster, which through a molting process sheds its shell and grows a new larger one, allowing it to mature to a larger lobster.What an empowering and transforming trade—putting off the old man so we can put on the new man. Click To Tweet
Replacing the Old with the New
Without putting aside the old, we cannot become the new. “Old things are passed away; behold all things are become new” (II Corinthians 5:17). When remodeling a bathroom, the carpenter begins by tearing out the old—tub, cabinet, sink, linoleum—before the new construction can begin.
Jesus taught that new wine should not be put in old bottles (Luke 5:37). The new wine, as it fermented and “worked,” would break the old, dry, and stiff leather flask or “bottle.”
We lay aside our old self, so God can make us a “new creature.”
Instead, the husbandmen put new wine in new bottles that were flexible and would not break with the working of the new wine. As we prepare our self—our “vessel”—to receive the workings of God’s Spirit, we do so through repentance and baptism in the name of Jesus Christ. We lay aside our old self, so God can make us a “new creature,” as He fills us with His Spirit. What an empowering and transforming trade—putting off the old man so we can put on the new man. (See Ephesians 4:22–24; Colossians 3:9–10.)
Faith-Inspiring Stories of New Beginnings
The Bible offers faith-inspiring stories of people with new beginnings—people who traded an old for a new.
The widow facing starvation with an empty oil cruse and meal barrel became a widow with plenty—all because of God.
Noah, the preacher of righteousness, built an ark to the saving of his family. He went from rain to rainbow—all because of God.
Andrew and Peter were fishermen who followed Jesus Christ. They went from fishermen to fishers of men—all because of God.
Peter was afraid to be associated with Jesus at the time of His trial, yet after receiving the Holy Ghost was courageous enough to stand and boldly declare the salvation message of Acts 2. He went from the chicken house to the powerhouse—all because of God.
No matter how far you have gone on the wrong road, you can still turn around. Jesus allows U-turns. That is a fair description of repentance. Someone said, “We cannot become what we want to be by remaining what we are.” By laying aside the old we can pick up the new. God is the God of second chances.
Resources and Links
Faith Brings an Empty Basket – If you are looking for a faith builder, consider this book. Financial miracles aren’t just of the past. The authors share dozens of inspiring contemporary stories about believers who gave sacrificially to foreign missions and found out God returns even more – sometimes in money, sometimes in house furnaces, and sometimes in new jobs.