Dena Johnson Martin Christian Blog and Commentary


Renew: To make new again

This word has been running through my mind all week. So many things I would like to make new again. This week, we have four vehicles in the shop for service…everything from tires to air conditioners to airbags. It’s crazy that we have four vehicles (one for each driver), but to have ALL of them in the shop at the same time? I’d love for every vehicle to be made new again.

What about my skin? I look at my daughter’s beautiful, flawless complexion and wish my skin could be made new again. Her skin is so soft, smooth. It has no wrinkles. Then I look in the mirror and I see the impact of the years and the sun exposure. I have all the wrinkle creams, and yet my skin is not made new again.

What about our house? Roy has a number of honey-do projects that he’s been working on. My daughter accidentally put a hole in one wall. The puppy scratched a couple of holes in our bedroom. We need some caulking in the bathrooms and around some of the trim. The list is never-ending, and sometimes we wish the house could be made new again.

We know how incredibly blessed we are, and we don’t take any of our material comforts for granted. Sometimes, though, these material blessings can be a curse…when things break and have to be repaired. It seems they are never truly “renewed.”

The truth is, there are so many other things I would like to see renewed. These are the things that really matter in life…our hearts, our relationships, our minds.

And there’s only one true source of renewal: our Lord and Savior.

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

To find a new life, we have to start with salvation. When we choose to surrender, to confess Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, we immediately become a brand-new creation. The old life is gone and we get to start fresh! We are made new again.

And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart. Ezekiel 36:26

I can’t help but smile when I read this promise! Not only do we get a new life, but we get a new spirit, a new heart. Our old heart is taken away. The hardness of our hearts is washed away, and we get a tender heart, a heart that is responsive to God’s voice.

Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. Romans 12:2

God gives us a new life. He gives us a new heart. He gives us a new spirit.

And then He commands us to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. He wants the ways of this world to be washed away, to be replaced by learning to think His ways. He wants our minds renewed by taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ, by learning to think on things that are lovely and noble and true and right. He wants to renew our minds by teaching us to focus on the things of God while removing every distraction and the sin that so easily entangles.

Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Ephesians 4:23

As we learn to focus our minds on the Word of God, on the things of God. As we take up the helmet of salvation. As we change our perspective to see things from God’s perspective.

We find the Spirit begins to saturate our minds and our thoughts and attitudes change.

Put on your new nature, and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like him. Colossians 3:10

As our minds are renewed, we learn to know our Creator. We learn to think like Him. We learn to act like Him. We learn what our new nature should be, and we want to walk in His way. His love begins to pour through us as we seek His face, as we seek to be renewed every day.

I long to obey your commandments! Renew my life with your goodness. Psalm 119:40

Why does He renew us? One simple reason: His goodness. He is good. He loves us as His chosen children. He longs to see us prosper, to see us walking with Him. He longs to give us the good gifts He planned for us long ago.

There’s only one reason He renews every aspect of His life…because He is truly good.

Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me. Psalm 51:10

So what should our response be? Our response should be one of surrender, one of asking Him to make us new. Our response should be that found in Psalm 51:10.

Lord, there’s nothing this world has to offer that compares to you. I beg you, Father, to create a clean heart in me. Teach me to be renewed in my mind, in my heart, in my attitude. Take away the old, selfish, sinful ways that have kept me trapped. Replace them with eyes to see things from your perspective, with a heart that longs to walk with you. Lord, I need to be renewed…in every area of my life. Do what only you can do.