Some friends of mine had an old conservatory on the back of their house, and, they decided to have a new, larger one built there. Being concerned for good stewardship of what God provides for us, the old structure was offered to some other folk for reconstruction at their place. However when builders came to dismantle the old one, they found that some of the parts were damaged, and others weren`t designed to be taken apart once originally put together. The end result was that the old room was broken up, some bits for recycling and others heading for the rubbish skip.
As we`re at the beginning of a new year (only 11 months to go to Christmas!) the verse from Revelation seems appropriate. God tells us He is “making all things new” (Revelation 21:5). Other Seeds of the Kingdom have also referred to the concept. We talk about spiritual renewal, but what does that mean? How is God going to make us new? Here are some thoughts from my friend`s conservatory reconstruction project.
God may need to remove some things from us so they don’t cause a `structural failure` in our lives. Colossians 3:8 tells us we have to ‘rid ourselves’ of the things belonging to our earthly nature in order to make way for the new. Perhaps this year there will be things in our lives that God has to remove from us, as they will only cause more damage if left?
Secondly some of the weaker parts need strengthening. The conservatory manufacturers now use thicker materials with better re-inforcing to carry the load. Paul prays for the Ephesians that God would ‘strengthen them with power through his Spirit’ in the inner being (Ephesians 3:16). God may be working in us to strengthen the areas of our lives that are in danger of giving way under the stresses of our circumstances.
Thirdly the conservatory needed a new, improved design to produce the required functionality. 2 Corinthians 3:18 reminds us we are being `transformed into His likeness`. God is redesigning us to be like Jesus, restoring us into His original intention. The earthly image has become corrupted, the structure no longer fit for purpose. As this year progresses, I wonder what changes God will make in the way we look and function?
Fourthly, the new conservatory needed a new base and then a new superstructure. Our new base is the Gospel of Jesus Christ which we received by faith when we were born again but we need to take care that we don’t spread ourselves off base. Many ‘believers’ seem to lose the solid foundation of their faith in the pursuit of post-modern trends. On that foundation of faith God will be building His new creation, the relationship with the Father restored through the Son and lived out in the Holy Spirit, who lives in this Holy Temple, which is called you and me.
We are a construction site in progress – and it can be dangerous. So don’t forget to wear your spiritual ‘hard hat’ – the helmet of salvation. Probably best to keep the rest of the armour on this year too! Watch out for a new Christ-likeness coming to your life soon.
Prayer: Lord it can be exciting watching a new construction work taking place in our neighbourhood. May we be as excited about what You are doing in our lives this year, even though it may be a bit noisy and messy as work progresses. We look forward to what you will make new in us through Your Holy Spirit, as we open our lives to Your renewal. Amen
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