Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The Old Neighborhood Holds No Interest

On a recent trip to Danny’s hometown, we drove around looking at places he used to live and schools he attended. The house his father owned is now an empty lot. A fire took it years ago. While his old high school is still active and full of teenagers, his old junior high is now vacant with broken windows and warning signs across the doors. We looked at places he had worked and although the buildin...gs were still there, they were either something else or abandoned altogether. We even went by the church where he had accepted Christ and been baptized. It no longer had the same name – even the church had changed.

It’s fun to think about good times and reminisce about days gone by. I asked Danny if he ever wished he could go back and live there. He told me no, that there wasn’t anything there anymore for him. He can’t go back because it’s all different now.

Reminiscing is great, but we have to be careful about longing for days we can no longer experience. For believers everything is new. We look forward not backwards. We don’t live where we used to live. We don’t work the same way we once did. We still attend school, but not as a child. For we are learning by the Holy Spirit, how to live the new life, how to abide in Christ and how to prepare for heaven. Oh for sure, present times can be hard, and we might be tempted to go back to the old life, but even in the hard times, God is preparing us for something even better. He is building for us a heavenly home that will be spacious, well kept, beautiful and perfect for us for eternity. It’s everything we could hope for and more than we can imagine.

Just like Danny wouldn’t go back and try to live in his dad’s old house, we cannot set our sights on going back to live as we once did. That old house is vacant and we are living in a new habitation. Going back won’t do a thing for us. But going forward will always be a blessing. Old houses are often dangerous and hazardous – there are traps of rotting floors and decaying ceilings. But our life in Christ is rich, full, and made of the finest material – for the chief cornerstone of this new life is Christ Himself.

Maybe you’ve been thinking about returning to your old neighborhood. You may be thinking it might be better if you just moved back and tried to pick up your past and live it again. At first, this new life you’ve been living was great – everything was rosy and pleasant. But things have been hard. You’ve been disappointed by people you thought would be with you. You’re hurt because you’re left out in the cold. You feel unaccepted, unappreciated and undervalued. You thought you were supposed to move on and live a new life, but today’s hurts and pain, trials and troubles are making you wonder if it was worth it.

Oh beloved, take your troubles to the Lord! He’s waiting right beside you holding out His arms to carry your burdens and lighten your load. He knows you so well that He can make things good for you in spite of the hardships you may go through. He has made great and precious promises to you about your new life and your new place of living. None of His promises are failing, even when you think that it will all fall in, for He is your chief cornerstone. He is your strong and faithful habitation always! His name is I AM and that means whenever you have a problem I AM is there for you. Whenever you feel you can’t go forward, I AM is always right in front of you. If you think you’re alone and out in the cold, I AM is your covering and your strength. When you feel that you are no longer loved or cared for, I AM is always loving you with an everlasting, perfect love. I AM is caring for you all the way to your final home in heaven! Rejoice that you are loved and cared for and your life is secure and perfect in Him.

Colossians 3:1 and 3 Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God's right hand. For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God.

2 Corinthians 5:17 This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!

I Corinthians 3:11 For no one can lay any foundation other than the one we already have—Jesus Christ.

Philippians 4:19 And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from His glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.

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