As the theme of new beginnings and fresh starts is easily seen throughout the Bible, it is also seen at the end of His Word. I can't help but get the feeling that really, this is the overarching theme of the Bible.
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
After recognizing the theme of new beginnings and fresh starts throughout the Old Testament, it is when we get to the New Testament that we see God begin to put this plan into action, a plan which will usher out the old and welcome in the new.
Posted by mmlace at 1:30 PM
Friday, January 7, 2011
As 2010 has been a year of new beginnings and fresh starts, and once again we are at a New Year, I am once again filled with much of the same hope and excitement that I experienced most of last year.
That's it, really...hope! Fresh starts give us hope. Hope that the future will be even better than the present.
As I read through the Bible last year, I couldn't help but notice this theme throughout. The first place I notice this is with Noah and the flood. Scripture says, "The Lord was grieved that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was filled with pain." So the Lord decided to wipe them all out and start over, with only one faithful man and his family. After the flood, when Noah stepped out of the ark, God made a covenant and put his rainbow in the clouds as a reminder of His promise to never again destroy the earth by flood.
The next time I notice this theme of fresh starts is when God has led the Israelites out of Egypt and is giving them the law. If you read Leviticus (your favorite, I know), God gives the Israelites many instructions on how to live their lives, and a large portion of that law is set in place to ensure that they treat each other fairly and do not take advantage of each other. One such way of doing this was commanding the people to recognize a Year of Jubilee every 50 years. If anyone had sold any property to repay a debt, in this year, the property would revert back to the original owner. Likewise, if anyone had sold himself as a slave to repay a debt, in this year, the Year of Jubilee, he would be set free! What a blessing to know that their situation would not be permanent!
As the Israelites are ruled by judges, a cycle is seen over and over again, where they fall away from God, but then they have a change of heart. They call out to God who forgives them and sends a judge to save them. They eventually ask for an earthly king to rule over them, and that turns out disastrous, for the most part, just as God had said it would. It is during that time that God reaches His point of anger with His people that He decides that punishment is imminent.
God sends prophets who warn with startlingly powerful language of the punishment to come upon them because of God's wrath. The people will be taken into exile and their land destroyed. However, in the midst of all this, we can still see God's promise of a fresh start and a second chance for His people. He promises that there will be a remnant to return to their homes. Along with that promise, God also alludes to a time when He will create a new covenant with His people, better than the one He had established with them at Sinai. Through the prophet Jeremiah, He says, "The time is coming when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah. It will not be like the covenant I made with their forefathers when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they broke my covenant, though I was a husband to them. This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel at that time. I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, 'Know the Lord,' because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest. For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more."
Posted by mmlace at 7:41 AM
Tuesday, January 4, 2011
"Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God."--Matt. 4:4, Luke 4:4
I can't say what a blessing all of the Project 4:4 reading and writing has been for me.
I absolutely love my church and our leaders for guiding us in this project this past year, and I'm very excited about our new project for the upcoming year. More about that later...
For now, I wanted to share this YouTube video, which features members of my congregation, talking about the impact that Project 4:4 has had on them.
I can't tell you how proud I feel, and how blessed I am, to be a part of this family. I thank God for them every day.
Posted by mmlace at 6:35 PM
Monday, January 3, 2011
2010 has been a year of new beginnings and fresh starts for me. Experienced some things for the first time ever!
At the end of January, my roommate moved out. This was my first time to be completely on my own, with a place all to myself.
In the middle of this year, I changed jobs. Left the place I'd been at for three and a half years, for a similar position at a larger organization. It's an absolutely wonderful environment, and it's been an incredible blessing.
Shortly thereafter, I moved, in order to be closer to said job. So I got the chance to go through all my stuff and clean house, both in a literal sense, but also in a figurative sense, in that I tried to simplify my life. If I didn't need it, I got rid of it. Cause I surely wasn't moving it across town in the 115-degree heat that we experienced this summer!
The next month, I traded vehicles, got a new (to me) car that was a little more fuel efficient. This was my first completely-solo car-buying experience, in that I didn't even consult the Dad. I didn't tell anyone I was buying until after the fact.
Thanks to my new job, I experienced my first ever airplane flight, as I went with a coworker to an accounting seminar in Indiana. Oh. My. Goodness. I was a little nervous beforehand, not knowing what to expect of the luggage and security and layovers and waiting. But whatever hassle there might have been (and there was none, really) was more than worth it after my first glance out the window from 30,000 feet up in the air. Definitely a Psalm 19:1-2 moment for me, the view was absolutely breathtaking. I'm quite certain I could never get tired of it.
Later that month, I held a new nephew, Rowdy Kyle Smith, the first child of my younger sister and her husband. (Yes, his name is really "Rowdy". I usually just call him "Roo" or "Lil Roo", short for "Rowdy Roo".). He is adorable, and I love him.
I would be remiss to leave out the fact that in 2010 I also read the Bible through, in it's entirety, for the first time ever.
This year has been incredible, and as a year that has included so much change and new beginnings and fresh starts, it has prompted me to take a look and see what the Bible has to say about all of this. As it turns out, my Father also seems to be a fan of new beginnings and fresh starts...
Posted by mmlace at 10:18 PM