Hi, this is pastor ken and these are my thoughts on a Thursday…The Renewal of Spring!
Ever since I was a kid I have loved spring. I love the warm lazy days of summer. Autumn is beautiful in a very colorful kind of way. Winter…well winter is winter, not much appealing I can say about winter, but spring, spring is my favorite. Spring is when everything is new. There are new leaf buds breaking forth on the trees. The differing flowering trees seem to burst forth with new colors and fragrances each week for at least a month as if vying for my attention, and the grass awakens from its wintry slumber cropping up unevenly across my yard like a bad case of bed-head. Yes, of all the seasons, I love spring the most. No matter what the long winter has ushered into our lives, Spring is bursting forth with new promises. I think one of the things that endears this time of year to me is that it is an incredible time of renewal.
In my opinion our awesome God brings renewal to the earth every year in part to remind us regularly of our need to be diligent for His renewal in our lives as well. His word speaks of that necessary renewal and reminds us of His ability and desire to offer it to us. His love for us…all of us is so great, so intense, and so immense that He sent His only begotten Son to die in our place so that we might live eternally with Him…the ultimate in renewal. Today I was thinking of some of the other places the Bible speaks of renewal.
Psalm 51:7-10 says; Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Make me hear joy and gladness, That the bones You have broken may rejoice. Hide Your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. King David wrote this Psalm after facing the sin he had committed against Bathsheba, Uriah, her husband, and God. David understood the gravity of his sin, and he also came to understand the mercy of his God. He knew that renewal could only come from God and humbly approached Him to receive it. King David also seemed to understand that forgiveness was not all he needed and asked that a steadfast spirit, or in other words one that would continuously seek righteousness would be renewed within him. We need that same steadfast spirit to be found within us.
Isaiah 40:31 is another well-known example of renewal. It reads; But those who wait on the Lord Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint. Here Isaiah is writing of the incredible, infallible strength, ability, and understanding of God. He also writes in the verses preceding this one that humans have limited amounts of those qualities. In response to these facts, he tells us that if we choose not to attempt to do things in our own abilities but rather look to God to empower us, we will experience a renewal of God’s strength being demonstrated through our lives. The Apostle Paul spoke of this same kind of renewal. He said that it is in our weaknesses that God is able to show Himself strong. In other words, it is in our weakness that God’s strength is seen in stark contrast as we are enabled by Him to do things far above our own abilities. When we find we are growing tired, we ought to recognize we are laboring in our own strength and that we need this very renewal.
Paul also wrote of a necessary renewal in Romans 12:2. There he wrote; And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. Here he cautioned us that as Christ followers we are not supposed to be comfortable looking like everyone else around us. Our actions, words and even thoughts are supposed to reflect the presence of God in our lives, so much so that our minds literally become renewed. In this renewed state of mind, we will act, speak and think differently than the world at large. He mentioned in Colossians 3:9-10 that since you have put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him, that through this renewal we will begin to conform once again to the image of God and reflect Him more accurately. This is an ongoing renewal that we should be seeing greater evidence of each day.
Finally, today I want to look at one more scripture of renewal. In his letter to Titus Paul wrote that this necessary renewal is nothing we can accomplish on our own. Nothing can renew itself. Just as it is only by the power of God that the earth goes through this time of renewal each year, it is no different for us. Renewal can only come through an outside source of power. Nothing is capable of self-renewal and we are no different. Even a plant creating and dropping its own seed must be sustained by earth, sun, and rain, none of which the plant has any power to control. We also need an outside source of power to experience the renewal we so desperately need. Titus 3:4-7 expresses this wonderfully. But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His Mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit Whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
So now, enjoying the process of renewal in your own life and giving all glory and praise to God for making it possible…Go Be Awesome!