Happy New Year!

by Stephen F. Olford

"Behold, I will do a new thing..." (Isa. 43:19).
Thought: It is part of God's divine self-disclosure to do a "new thing." Take your concordance and look up the word "new" in both Testaments. In its context, the prophet Isaiah looks to the day when God's ancient people will be regathered, requickened, and restored to His original purpose for them (see Ezek. 34 and Rom. 9, 10 and 11). But, as always, there is a message for you and me in this text as we experience God's "new thing" for 2004.
1. We must forget what is behind us. "Do not remember the former things" (v. 18). This does not mean that we should lose our minds or memories! It is a call to bury the past. So many of us neglect the doctrine of "burial with Christ" (Rom. 6:4). Our arch-accuser, Satan, plagues us with introspection. We have no business digging up our decaying bones. What God has condemned and crucified, in union with Christ, is also buried.
2. We must face what is before us. "Behold, I will do a new thing,...it shall spring (sprout) forth" (v.19). You may be overwhelmed by the incredible problems that face you-spiritually, personally, nationally, and globally, but look at verses 19-21. What God promises to His people of old, He can do for us. If you are lost, He has a map for you; if you are thirsty, He has a river for you; if you're scared, He has a word for you, and so on.
3. We must foresee what is beyond us. "This people I have formed for myself; they shall declare thy praise" (v. 21). A day is coming when "at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow of those in heaven and those on earth and those under the earth, and every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord to the glory of God the Father" (Phil. 2:10-11)-God's "new thing."
Thrust: God's "new thing" is just ahead, Wait for it, it's sure to come; Cease to fret with faithless dread, Christ will come to take us home.
2011 Disciple 155x50 2011 AMG 155x50
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