Posts Tagged ‘All things new’

Lord of the breakthrough

July 15, 2019

Although we are well beyond the halfway point of the New Year, 2019, in the minds of many people we are still experiencing a “new beginning.” During this time, we think about the remainder of the year and what it holds in store for us, as we recall who God is and what He alone can do. We can apply these words every day, for our Father graciously provides “a new beginning” or a “fresh start” with the bold declaration found in Isaiah 43:16, 18-19:

I am the LORD, who opened a way through the waters,
making a dry path through the sea.

18 “But forget all that—
it is nothing compared to what I am going to do.
19 For I am about to do something new.
See, I have already begun! Do you not see it?
I will make a pathway through the wilderness.
I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.

The passage from Isaiah inspired this poetic expression:

God is constant, never changing.
Yet God is fluid, ever-changing.
Like the ocean and horizon at sunset and sunrise,
Always the same yet never quite the same,
Infinitely wise, ruler of earth and skies,
We humbly recognize our savior and creator,
Who makes all things new.
Marvelous are His works;
Righteous are His ways.
Worthy of the glory,
We give our highest praise.
Never changing, yet ever-changing,
Who is like unto our God?
There is no one like Him.
Who is like unto our God?

Each day represents a new beginning, as God once again makes

All Things New

Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth;
shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness,
and rivers in the desert.

Isaiah 43:19

Behold, I am the Lord God who makes all things new.
Trust me and you will see. You will never be the same.
As you look to me, it is no secret what I can do.

I am God–I do not lie, I am faithful and true.
Almighty, God of the impossible is my name.
Behold, I am the Lord God who makes all things new.

Some thought it was over, but I am by no means through.
I cover and restore to remove all guilt and shame.
As you look to me, it is no secret what I can do.

Never forget what I have already brought you through.
You have a divine purpose; your life is not a game.
Behold, I am the Lord God who makes all things new.

In me you overcome—I am Lord of the breakthrough
Who offers boundless promises that you can now claim.
As you look to me, it is no secret what I can do.

Trust me, obey and see what I have in store for you.
With your life you will make known my goodness and proclaim:
Behold, I am the Lord God who makes all things new.
As you look to me, it is no secret what I can do.

The reference to God as “Lord of the breakthrough” caused me to think about the film, Breakthrough, released earlier this year. Based on an actual account of a mother’s unwavering commitment to pray that her son would recover after being rescued from the icy waters of a frozen lake, the film depicts the power of prayer, despite seemingly impossible circumstances.

Pastor Jason Noble, the actual minister portrayed in the film, offered this definition of the term “breakthrough”:

“A military advance all the way and beyond an enemy’s front-line defense. An action or instance of surpassing an obstruction, the overcoming of a stalemate. . . a significant or sudden advance, development, achievement that removes a barrier to progress.”

Pastor Jason shared how we can position ourselves for a miracle. He spoke of the human component of every miracle in the Bible. He said, “When God speaks a promise in your life, you must hold on to it. We have to partner with God.” He went on to say there is a place for us, a destination where we can experience a personal breakthrough.

The Bible reminds us of God’s unfailing power and strength to turn a seemingly impossible situation into a glorious triumph in the account of David who inquires of the Lord before going into battle with the Philistines in 1 Chronicles 14:8-16.

1 Chronicles 14:11 in the Good News Translation (GNT) summarizes what occurred:

11 So David attacked them at Baal Perazim and defeated them. He said, “God has used me to break through the enemy army like a flood.” So that place is called Baal Perazim.

(We note that this name in Hebrew means “Lord of the Breakthrough.”)

In a similar way, Isaiah 59:19 reveals that when the enemies of God come upon God’s people seeking to overwhelm us, the spirit of the Lord responds in this way:

Isaiah 59:19

So shall they fear the name of the LORD from the west and his glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him.

As we embark further into another new beginning, we also may encounter challenges and difficult situations that seem impossible to resolve on our own. Obstacles confront us and block our progress toward our destination which seems so close, yet circumstances hinder us everywhere we turn. We desperately seek a breakthrough to catapult us to victory. Like David, we seek to do God’s will, knowing He has already equipped us for victory, having already gone before us triumphantly, for He is “Lord of the Breakthrough.”

Israel and New Breed confirm our declaration with “Lord of the Breakthrough.”

New Year: New you–no limits

January 1, 2016

2 Corinthians 5--17

The Verse of the Day for January 1, 2016 comes from 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NLT):

This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!

This verse also reinforces the Verse of the Day for yesterday, the last day of the old year, where God reminded us, “Behold, I will do a new thing. . .”

The Verse of the Day on the first day of the New Year also brings to mind the message delivered on New Year’s Eve by Bishop Charles Mellette of Christian Provision Ministries entitled “New Year: New—No Limits.” The objective of the teaching session was to help listeners to confess, believe and act on the Word of God, laying a foundation with Luke 1:37:

For with God nothing shall be impossible.

The American Standard Version offers this rendering:

For no word from God shall be void of power.

As we embark upon the next leg of our remarkable journey of discovery and forge ahead toward our destiny in God, Bishop Mellette reminded us that “There are no limits on our lives except for the limits that we place there when we choose not to believe the Word of God.” As believers, we are reminded that we must confess or to come into agreement with the Word of God. Jeremiah 1:12 in the New King James declares:

Then the LORD said to me, “You have seen well, for I am ready to perform My word.”

The Amplified Bible puts it this way:

12 Then the LORD said to me, “You have seen well, for I am [actively] watching over My word to fulfill it.”

In addition, we must commit to and act on the Word of God despite the most challenging circumstances that may confront us. The living illustration of Abraham and Sarah found in Genesis 18:9-14 provides great encouragement.

When God sends a message to Abraham and Sarah that they will have a son in their old age, when Abraham is about a hundred years old and his wife “was long past the age of having children,” they are confronted with a seemingly impossible situation. In response to these circumstances, the Lord responds with a question that is really a statement: Is anything too hard for the LORD? (verse 14)

Abraham, the “father of faith,” overcame these incredible odds, and as Romans 4:20-21 (NLT) clearly reveals that Abraham’s faith increased:

19 And Abraham’s faith did not weaken, even though, at about 100 years of age, he figured his body was as good as dead—and so was Sarah’s womb.

20 Abraham never wavered in believing God’s promise. In fact, his faith grew stronger, and in this he brought glory to God. 21 He was fully convinced that God is able to do whatever he promises.

The motivating message for the New Year ended with these two words of encouragement to remind us:

Nothing, nobody can stop us from reaching our destiny this year.

What we are seeking to find in God will be finding us all year long.

We end with this reminder from Israel Houghton with the refrain:

You make all things new

Yes, You make all things new

And I will follow you forward

 

Close the old, enter the new with a different approach

December 28, 2015

2 Corinthians-5--17

At various times when I am part of a large congregation where the Word of God is being proclaimed, I will zero-in on the minister or teacher so intently that I in my mind I block out those around me and focus on the message, as if I am in a one-on-one teaching situation. Such was the case this past Sunday, the last Sunday of 2015, as my wife and I visited our older daughter and her husband who are members of Grace Covenant Church in Chantilly, Virginia. Pastor Brent Fuller offered a remarkable message based on 2 Corinthians 5:14-17, as he shared words of inspiration to end the current and jumpstart the New Year with a “Different Approach,” the title of his teaching. As I reviewed my notes and upon further reflection, I was inspired to complete the following:

A Different Approach

2 Corinthians 5:14-17

Because of Christ’s undying love, I choose to love
Based on the love of God, not on what I can see.
Though blindsided by sin with a distorted view,
Through the lens of God’s love I now have a new creation reality.
I longer know Christ or anyone from a human viewpoint
And refuse to imprison others because of their last offense.
God in Christ forgave me each time I would fail or disappoint.
Each day provides one more fresh start, another day to commence:
The old life is gone; a new life has begun that causes me
To take a different approach: To love, see, and know differently.

The final verse of the passage from 2 Corinthians 5 speaks of the individual who abides in fellowship in Christ and becomes a new creation. In the New Testament, “new” is translated from kainos, meaning that which is “unaccustomed or unused, not ‘new’ in terms of time, or recent but ‘new’ as to form or quality (sometimes translated “fresh”) The word is used to describe “a new creative act—new creation, a new man in II Corinthians 5:17 which is more clearly expressed in the Amplified Bible:

Therefore if any person is [ingrafted] in Christ (the Messiah) he is a new creation (a new creature altogether); the old [previous moral and spiritual condition] has passed away. Behold, the fresh and new has come!

Steven Curtis Chapman reinforces the message of 2 Corinthians 5:17 with the song “All Things New.”

Isaiah 43:19: All things new

December 31, 2013

Isaiah 43--19As we reflect upon the Verse of the Day for December 31, the last day of 2013, it provides a reminder of who God is and what He alone can do:

Isaiah 43:16, 18-19:

Thus saith the Lord, which maketh a way in the sea, and a path in the mighty waters;

Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old.

Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.

The passage from Isaiah brought to mind this poetic expression:

God is constant, never changing.

Yet God is fluid, ever changing.

Like the ocean and horizon at sunset and sunrise,

Always the same yet never quite the same,

Infinitely wise, ruler of earth and skies,

We humbly recognize our savior and creator,

Who makes all things new.

Marvelous are your works;

Righteous are your ways.

Worthy of the glory,

We give our highest praise.

Never changing, yet ever changing,

Who is like unto our God?

There is no one like Him.

Who is like unto our God?

Each New Year represents a new beginning, as God reminds us once again that He makes all things new.  As I considered deeply the concept of a new beginning or a fresh start, I happened to think of the lyrics to a little song composed based on the words, “Behold, I make all things new.”

Behold, I make all things new.

Behold, I make all things new.

Behold, I make all things new, brand new.

Things will never be the same.

 

Behold, I am making you new.

Behold, I am making you new.

Behold, I am making you new, brand new.

You will never be the same.

The same expression is also the title of another poem with the same message:

All Things New

Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth;

shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness,

and rivers in the desert.

Isaiah 43:19

 

Behold, I am the Lord God who makes all things new.

Trust me and you will see. You will never be the same.

As you look to me, it is no secret what I can do.

 

I am God–I do not lie, I am faithful and true.

Almighty, God of the impossible is my name.

Behold, I am the Lord God who makes all things new.

 

Some thought it was over, but I am by no means through.

I cover and restore to remove all guilt and shame.

As you look to me, it is no secret what I can do.

 

Never forget what I have already brought you through.

You have a divine purpose; your life is not a game.

Behold, I am the Lord God who makes all things new.

 

In me you overcome—I am Lord of the breakthrough

Who offers boundless promises that you can now claim.

As you look to me, it is no secret what I can do.

 

Trust me, obey and see what I have in store for you.

With your life you will make known my goodness and proclaim:

Behold, I am the Lord God who makes all things new.

As you look to me, it is no secret what I can do.

As we enter the New Year, we may encounter challenges and difficult situations that seem impossible to resolve on our own. The Bible reminds us of God’s unfailing power and strength to turn a seemingly impossible situation into a triumphant victory. We must never forget the message of Isaiah 43:19.

This particular verse and the tragic death of his nephew became the inspiration for one of Don Moen’s signature musical compositions, “God Will Make a Way,” offered here by Hosanna! Music.

What a wonderful reminder and source of encouragement as 2013 ends and 2014 begins.

All New Things Begin in Darkness: Transitioning Through Your Dark Night–Personal Poetic Responses–Part 4

January 22, 2012
The darkest hour appears just before the dawning of a new day, as, indeed, all new things begin in darkness.
What follows is the final excerpt from the prophetic word entitled All New Things Begin in Darkness: Transitioning Through Your Dark Night posted as an e-letter by John Paul Jackson, interspersed with original poetry at strategic points, as I read the words of exhortation. This is Part 4 of the message that has been posted over the last few days. Click here to view the message without the poetic inserts:

The secret is this: No matter how dark your transitional time has been, you were always going to make it in God’s book, even during these times when the light has been hidden from you. If God is your Captain, you will survive this year — and the next year and the one after that.       

The reference to God as our “Captain” brought to mind this vernacular piece of poetry                                                                “Sumpn bout to  Happen” with a refrain: “ Yes, Siree Bob, Look out now! I tell you Cap’n”:

 Sump’n’ bout to Happen

For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth

in pain together until now.

And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits     

of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves,

waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.

Romans 8:22-23 (King James Version)

 

My stomach is a growlin; there’s a rumblin in my soul.

Good things keep on happenin, and now I’m on a roll,

Like I been workin in the mines and nearly bout to strike some gold;

I been pressin toward the mark, and I’m bout to reach my goal.

 

Yes, Siree Bob, Look out now! I tell you Cap’n,

I don’t know what it is but sump’n bout to happen!

 

My heart is beatin fast, and my palms is startin to itch.

Watch out good people, I’m bout to strike it rich.

With bases loaded, all I need is one good pitch.

Yes, Siree Bob, Look out now! I tell you Cap’n.

 

I’m lookin like a winner—aint no way I can fail

Cause I pulled two lucky cards: “Collect $200” and “Don’t go to jail.”

And I just can’t wait to run right on home and check the mail.

I don’t know what it is but sump’n bout to happen!

 

I can’t figure it out, but somehow I just know

That God is good and I’m movin and groovin in the flow.

Some folks want me to hang aroun, but I just got to go.

Yes, Siree Bob, Look out now! I tell you Cap’n.

 

Everything is comin together just like someday I knowed it would.

I got this funny kinda feelin and it show nuff feels good.

I’m tryin to make you feel it too—Oh, how I wish I could.

I don’t know what it is but sump’n bout to happen!

 

It’s more than a woozy kinda feelin I’m trying to convey.

Yall may think I’m crazy, but I don’t care what yall say.

I’m like a little boy who can’t wait to greet each new day:

I can’t rightly describe it, but somethin great is on the way.

 

Yes, Siree Bob, Look out now! I tell you Cap’n,

I don’t know what it is but sump’n bout to happen!

 

But for right now, as God transitions you and you walk through intense times of not knowing, don’t lose hope. As the sun rises from behind the peaks and you see life again for the first time in months … you’re going to fall in love all over again. God never leaves His children in the dark. You’ll see.

As I concluded this most inspiring prophetic word, I recognized that you cannot “lose hope” if you are “Anchored in Hope”:

 Anchored in Hope

[Now] we have this [hope] as a sure and steadfast anchor                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   of the soul [it cannot slip and it cannot break down under                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         whoever steps out upon  it–a hope] that reaches farther                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                and enters into [the very certainty of the Presence] within the veil,                                                                                                                   

Hebrews 6:19 [Amplified Bible]                  

 With deepest gratitude for all that I have learned:

That God is so good. As far as I am concerned,

 My heart remains fixed; I continue to seek your face,

Striving to please you, to be faithful to the end.

Despite life’s trials, I press on to reach this place:

No longer a bondslave but esteemed as a friend.

In this time between Passover and Pentecost

We look up, as the fullness of time shall reveal

The King of Glory, before whom all souls shall kneel,

The Kinsman Redeemer sent to redeem the lost.

Watching, waiting, in my heart I have prepared room,

Assured by the promise of the faithful bridegroom.

Looking to see far beyond my limited scope,

I am steadfast– my soul remains anchored in hope. 

Closing Comments:

Music has become an important part of my life. Even as a child, I was fascinated with music, especially song lyrics which seemed so easy to memorize. In the poem “Song Since” I express my love for music from an early age. Some lyrics I did not fully appreciate until later in life, as this stanza reveals:

Some of my songs I sang before I knew

Any of the reasons to cherish them,

Of simple black people, humble and who

Drank in renewed strength from their vintage hymn.

 As a child I have fond memories of singing in the Junior Choir, where I recall “leading” my first song at the age of eight or nine. Actually I did not “sing,” but I narrated the verses while the choir sang the lyrics to “On Christ, the Solid Rock,” a “vintage hymn,” which resounds with “hope”:

My hope is built on nothing less                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

When darkness veils His lovely face,
I rest on His unchanging grace;
In every high and stormy gale
My anchor holds within the veil.
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

His oath, His covenant, and blood
Support me in the whelming flood;
When every earthly prop gives way,
He then is all my Hope and Stay.
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

When He shall come with trumpet sound,
Oh, may I then in Him be found,
Clothed in His righteousness alone,
Faultless to stand before the throne!
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand.                               .

As believers we all attempt to navigate through a period of sustained darkness, the dark night of the soul, and many times our lives are sometimes bombarded with negative emotions, three of which are disappointment, discouragement, and despair. While these “three deadly Ds” can have a progressively devastating impact upon a believer, as “Disappointment” can lead to “Discouragement” which can ultimately produce “Despair,” their total toxic effects can be neutralized, as we go to the Word of God. Where we have been disappointed by failed expectations, we can extract positive expectations from the exceeding great and precious promises of the Word. Where we have been discouraged, we can instill courage into our lives from the Word of God, from other believers, or we can, like David, “encourage ourselves in the Lord.” And finally where we have been in despair over situations that have occurred, we can from the Word of God inject into our lives“hope–a joyful, confident expectation of a future good.” Just as the caustic effects of strong acids can be neutralized by adding strong alkaline substances or bases which produce a salt, so we implement the Word of God which is our strong base to totally neutralize the effects of three potentially devastating elements, whereby we “have salt within ourselves.” We also counteract the negative force of unbelief  when we act as Abraham, the father of faith,  who did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God:

Romans 4:17-21 (New King James Version)

17 (as it is written, “I have made you a father of many nations”) in the presence of Him whom he believed—God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did;

18 who, contrary to hope, in hope believed, so that he became the father of many nations, according to what was spoken, “So shall your descendants be.”

19 And not being weak in faith, he did not consider his own body, already dead (since he was about a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarah’s womb.

20 He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God,

21 and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform.

On that hopeful note, I conclude  All New Things Begin in Darkness: Transitioning Through Your Dark Night by John Paul Jackson with personal poetic responses with “On Christ, the Solid Rock,” one of my most memorable hymns from childhood. This rendition is by Avalon, contemporary Christian music group:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NM7vodGhOaE&feature=related

All New Things Begin in Darkness: Transitioning Through Your Dark Night–Personal Poetic Responses–Part 3

January 21, 2012
“All things new begin in darkness,” so says John Paul Jackson.
 

What follows is another  excerpt from the prophetic word entitled All New Things Begin in Darkness: Transitioning Through Your Dark Night posted as an e-letter by John Paul Jackson, interspersed with original poetry at strategic points, as I read the words of exhortation. This is Part 3 of the message which is being posted over the next few days. Click here to view the message without the poetic inserts:

http://www.streamsministries.com/index.php?cat_id=32&page_id=141

 January 21—Part 3

The First Sign of Healing


At some point in all three phases, you finally realize that what you have self-justified (the thing you’ve been trying to hold onto) is actually hindering your destiny, and with this realization, there is often a sense of failure or sorrow or both.

But even here, do not give up hope, because this sense of failure is actually the initial sign of healing: You are on your way out. You have allowed God to remove the blinders, and as He does so, the first tendrils of light become visible again.

 The reference to removing the blinders reminds me of this poem entitled “Blinded Eyes”: 

Blinded Eyes

And their eyes were opened, and they knew him;

and he vanished out of their sight. And they said one to another,

Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked

with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?

Luke 24:31-32

 

On the road to Emmaus, as Christ walked with them,

He opened the Scriptures and the hearts of the two

On their journey seven miles from Jerusalem.

So walk with me, Lord, for your Word alone is true.

On the road to Damascus, one Saul was struck blind.

Thickened scales covered his eyes so he could not see,

But God opened his eyes, reconfigured his mind.

Like Paul, may I see the riches of Christ in me.

Open my understanding and flood it with light.

Widen my comprehension that I also may

Realize that I must first of all lose my sight

And then be washed in the Pool of Siloam each day.

Strike me blind, then open and heal these blinded eyes,

That I may see with new sight and be truly wise.

The closing lines of this poem bring to mind the request spoken in the familiar hymn, “Open My Eyes”:

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&feature=endscreen&v=ZYjr9CsqHvQ

Immediately after this point of despair, everything changes. Here you see the light at the end of the long tunnel. You have hope for a better life, and it is soooooo refreshing. Though you know the rest of the tunnel still lies ahead of you, you see the light at the end, and you know you will make it, even though, up until this point, you were pretty sure you wouldn’t.
So many of us are walking blindly today, because God sees where we’re heading, but we do not. As this is the eighth month already, no doubt you’re aware that transition means things are changing. You can’t get away with the things you got away with before; your Father has asked you to come up higher. He may have asked you to give up the “good” thing in order to give you the best. Times are dark. The way is hidden.

Many times we pray, and God does not answer our prayer in the expected manner, as I express in “We Pray—God Answers.”

 We Pray—God Answers

Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray,

believe that you receive them, and you will have them.

Mark 11:24

We pray, asking to receive and seeking to find.

If we knock, the door shall be opened all our days,

For God answers prayer in one of three sovereign ways:

Sometimes we pray and find that the answer is “yes.

In Christ each promise is “yes” and “amen”,

For God is not a man that He should lie.

He has already spoken—What shall we say then

But give thanks, for when we call Him, He hears each cry.

Other times we find that the answer is “not yet.”

 We need more patience so that after we have done

All the will of God, as sons we might be instilled

With confident assurance given to each one,

 Set as an empty vessel, yet to be fulfilled.

Or God may say, “I have something better in mind.”

Before we abandon hope, feeling left behind,

Though it may seem we cannot pass another test,

But if we stop and think a moment, we will find

God, our all-wise Father, really knows what is best.

The renowned folk artist and minister, Elijah Pierce, completed this painted bas relief woodcarving entitled “The Power of Prayer” in 1960. It is from the private collection courtesy of Keny Galleries, Columbus, Ohio.

A woodcarving depicting the Power of Prayer with Faith as the key that unlocks the doors to God and His Son Jesus Christ.

A woodcarving depicting the Power of Prayer with Faith as the key that unlocks the doors to God and His Son Jesus Christ.

John Starnes offers a powerful rendition of “Prayer is the Key to Heaven” to sum up this section of  All New Things Begin in Darkness: Transitioning Through Your Dark Night by John Paul Jackson with personal poetic responses:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xomn5SMDSlw