Jim Hockaday 12-5-11
OLD versus NEW!! It’s the time of year when each of us reflects on the end of the old and the beginning of the new one!! We make decisions to change, perhaps improve, or at least “start over again!”
THINK about the Old versus the New Covenant? Did we need a New? What was the real purpose for the Old, anyway? Hebrews 8:7 said, “For if that first covenant had been faultless, then no place would have been sought for a second.” And I’ll say it this way—the Old Covenant made man mindful of his sin and need for HELP! More often than not, for a man to change his way he needs to hit rock bottom… when he comes to the END of himself, it marks the beginning of something new. Isn’t it a fact… unless you KNOW you have a need that you can’t solve, you won’t seek for the answer? Now I’ll HELP you with this…
In this world we live in, which is mostly un-natural to your spirit, not many answers are sought beyond or outside of man’s own ability. Do you ever feel miserable and dissatisfied about your present situation and don’t know what to do about it? How desperate are you for answers? Do you feel alone? Perhaps you’ve no family, no friends, no job and no money, especially at this time of the year? When someone is at the bottom, usually the only way is UP. AND the greater the NEED, the greater the appreciation there is for HELP!
Paul described the condition of the world when he said, “…all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” He went on to say that there are none righteous, no not one. This sounds like a spiritual rock bottom, doesn’t it? It is not what you have done or how many times you have done it that makes someone more of a sinner. It’s the condition of the heart that makes every person equal. When Adam and Eve, who were God’s created beings, sinned in the Garden of Eden, the curse was passed on every human being born. Whether man is totally unaware through ignorance or the noise of the world is so loud that he is greatly distracted, I believe that the heart of every one has a longing to be made right.
What if everyone knew and understood that spiritually they are really in trouble. What if it were explained that there wasn’t one thing of themselves that they could do about it, how would people respond? This is the spiritual rock bottom that everyone faces.
What I have described is the real reason why we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. When the world had no hope, and no answers for the condition of man, God’s love sent His only Son into the world. Jesus came without sin and remained spotless and without sin until the day He died. He is the perfect substitute and the only hope for the world. When Jesus went to the cross with a perfect heart on behalf of the world He paid the full debt and canceled the punishment for our sins; He made it possible for man to have a relationship with God. I remember hearing this when I was four years old. As young as I was, I asked Jesus to come into my heart and become my Savior. I might not have known what rock bottom was as a child, but I did understand that Jesus had a gift for me and he wanted me to have it. As I have grown to understand the significance of what Jesus really did for me, I have come to gain a new, very real appreciation for my salvation. Just the thought that all my sins are forgiven forever has transformed my life. Jesus said about a harlot who wiped his feet with her hair, as she wept in appreciation for his forgiveness, that “… he who knows he has been forgiven much has great thanks, and he who knows that he has been forgiven a little has little thanks.” (Lk. 7:44-47)
As you take time to celebrate the birth of Jesus be extremely aware and thankful that ALL your sins are forgiven, and all your diseases healed. Know that we have received a new and better Covenant through Jesus’ finished work at the Cross—it’s a DONE deal! As you think on this you will find amazing joy. AND the more this means to you the greater thanks you will have. This is an amazing way to give God your devotion and attention. Placing your value on the forgiveness of all your sins will only strengthen your resolve to honor God’s grace and provide you confidence to spend time with the Lord.