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Pastor’s Place: Fresh Starts

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Dr. Matthew Harding, The Well Church, Argyle
Dr. Matthew Harding, The Well Church, Argyle

by Dr. Matthew Harding, The Well Church, Argyle

Are you addicted to “new” things? I think I am.

I love traveling to new places, discovering uncharted territory, opening a perfectly folded map. I love beginning a new book or binge watching a new series on Netflix. I loved the first day of school with new lockers, new classes, new friends, and a fresh start. I love being the first person to make my footprint in clean and undisturbed “new” snow (not that we see a lot of that here in North Texas). I also really love that “new car” smell.  Well, someone has to buy ‘em. Someone ingenious has even figured out how to market the “new car” smell as a car freshener for all our old jalopies. What a country! I love the feeling of opening new things, a fast-food biscuit lovingly wrapped just for me, a freshly dropped off newspaper never-before read, a fresh loaf of bread waiting to be eaten a hundred different ways, the newest “I-product” apple or android apparatus fresh out of the box. Unwrapping that little device is especially addictive – knowing that I will be the first person to call or text on this little marvel of a machine. It will be MY first fingerprints happily smudging the clear and perfect screen.

Mmmm, I love new things! I truly think I am addicted to it – did I already mention that? I can remember many holidays unwrapping a new gift with all the excitement of what may be inside. I love that feeling! Of unwrapping that favorite piece of candy, of opening a letter mailed by a sweetheart (not an email mind you) excited for what sweet nothings they will lavish you upon your heart. I love crawling into a freshly made bed with newly washed sheets, oh the memories we will make in sweet slumber-land. I love the first time that my children took their first step unaided, and the look on their face when they received a new bike for Christmas and learn to ride on their own. That first time I scared away an unwitting suitor for my teenager daughter. Good times! Oh face it, new things rock!

This trip down “new thing” addiction memory lane has reminded me though, of a spiritual truth, a biblical reality that outweighs all my earthly feelings toward new things to unwrap. I remember that the greatest feeling of trusting Jesus as my Savior leads me to realize that I, myself, am actually a NEW thing too. Really? Well, since I believed and followed Jesus He treasures me as a new creation!

The Bible reminds us “in Christ, the old things [my old life and all my former sins] have now passed away and behold, in Christ, all things have become new” 2 Corinthians 5:17. The Bible claims that as a Christian I am actually a new creature, not just a new and improved version of my old self, but a spiritually new being, a new life, a person of hope and truth living in Christ’s grace.

Have you ever considered that YOU were that beautiful “new” treasure to someone else, that unexplored heart, that freshly fallen snow? Well, you are . . . to JESUS, once you accepted Him into your life as Lord and Savior.

As we begin a new school year and new semester with all the “firsts” and new experiences that it will bring, let us not forget that God has called each of us to embrace the New spiritual life as a Christian, to extend grace and forgiveness as we have each received grace and forgiveness, to be a life filled with peace and encouragement – to become someone’s “new” friend with a message of true life and eternal hope. May we be beacons of Christ’s NEW creations this year!

Now, go and enjoy the feeling of unwrapping a new Bible for this new semester – let’s get busy reading together!!

 

The Pastor’s Place features columns written by a different area church leader each month.Call 940-728-8284 for more information.

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