Jordan Ministries
Embracing God's Promise of Abundance When Hardship Endures
All Things New
by Jenny on January 1st, 2015

"This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!"  2 Corinthians 5:17

As part of our journey through the Old Testament my kids and I studied the Exodus this week (yes, our family trudged through a bit of school work during the holidays). I've read the details of the Israelite's departure from Egypt many times. However, the perspective of an upcoming new year shed a very different light on this story of new beginnings.

God's people lived in Egypt for 430 years, spending a good portion of that time enslaved to the Egyptians every whim. Israel had no choice; they were powerless over their enemy. But God sees the oppression of His people and He hears cries of distress (Exodus 3:7, Psalm 10:17-18, Psalm 17:6-7).

After a miraculous display of His power God caused the Egyptians to set the Israelites free. God's people found themselves free from their former way of life; free from the control of their oppressors. It was on the last day of the year--the last day of the Israelites' 430th year in Egypt--that God led His people to a new way of living. (Exodus 12:40) What a GREAT New Year's Eve!

As the Israelites left Egypt they faced a great new beginning. However, to arrive at their new life the Israelites had to follow God's way of doing things. Israel had to depend on God for everything--for food, water and direction. God did not lead His people along the main road but rather in a "roundabout way" through the wilderness (Exodus 13:17, 18). Israel whined and complained about the way God chose to deliver them to their new destination. But God had His reasons for leading His people the way that He did. And eventually a remnant of Israel enjoyed a life more abundant than ever before.

Each New Year arrives with the hope of new beginnings, the desire for a fresh start. We resolve to do things different. And yet for most of us, each passing day of the new year carries us farther away from the goals we set for our "new" selves.

New beginnings do not start with a list. A new exercise routine, a new wardrobe, new appliances, new diets, new wake-up times fail to deliver us as a new person. Only God can create within a person a newness that lasts. The good news is that this newness of life can begin anytime of the year.

Scripture teaches us that Jesus died to break the power of our enemy (Hebrews 2:14). People who acknowledge their need for Jesus' sacrifice receive the promise of eternal life. God places within believers His Spirit as guarantee of all that is to come (2 Corinthians 1:22). It is God's Spirit in us that grants us the power to follow God into a new way of living. Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 5:17, "Anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!"

Jesus came so that we could live life to the fullest (John 10:10). But to receive this new life we must do things God's way. Like the Israelites, we must follow God's instructions even when those instructions go against "popular thought." We no longer live for ourselves, which only leads to emptiness. We live for something (Someone) much greater, something that will outlast the world as we know it.

The Israelites faced a massive change in their way of life. The journey proved long and challenging. But the life God gives is a life worth pursuing.

God has the power to make all things new. The question becomes: are we willing to leave behind our old way of living and follow God into newness of life in the upcoming year?

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Crossing Your Jordan

I am a stay-at-home, homeschooling, Bible-teaching mom of six, and wife to my college sweetheart. I believe everyone can live a life of abundance through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and radical obedience to His Word.

Do you have a relationship with God through Christ? If not, I would consider it pure joy to tell you about God, why you need Him, and how to be reconciled to Him through Christ.

If you know Christ as your Savior, do you know how to follow Him as Lord? If, like me, life's challenges have caused you to question whether you truly want to follow God's plan for you, or you simply don't know how to recognize God's ways due to a lack of biblical literacy, I would love to teach you what I've come to know about God through His Word.

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