Thursday, December 27, 2012

Our Daily Bread Designs Forum Bible Verse Thursday Challenge #61 - A New Beginning

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; 
old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new." 
 ~2 Corinthians 5:17 

We all want to change something, but we don’t know how to do it and we don’t know where to begin. We all dream of being something different and better than the person we are today.  But change is hard, isn't it? 

We all mess up. We say things we later wish we could take back. We do things we wish we could undo. We miss opportunities. This happens in all spheres of our lives. Sometimes we make mistakes at work, sometimes we hurt the people we love, sometimes we disappoint God.

And because we all mess up, we like to start over—to turn our backs on the past, to look forward, to hope that this time round, things are going to be better.  There’s something exciting about starting over—new challenges, new experiences, new opportunities. I love starting a new year. I have plans, things I’d like to accomplish, big challenges ahead of me. Looking back over the past year, I realise there are some things I’d like to do differently. Perhaps you’ve had similar thoughts…

New Year's Day is this coming week.  Many people make resolutions to change at the beginning of the new year, but why?  Because the future holds the hope for something better.

But things aren't always easy.  How many new year's resolutions are broken by the end of January?  How many people give up when things get difficult?  We all lost hope sometimes.  A person can only start over so many times before you begin to wonder, “What’s the point? What makes you think you’re not going to mess it up again?”

Of course, people vary. The number of disappointments necessary before someone gives up hope differs from person to person.  It’s tragic to admit, but none of us is alone in reaching the point of hopelessness. After too many disappointments, it can happen to anyone. After a while, you may begin to feel that there just isn’t a new beginning for you.

However, the Bible does not agree with this feeling. In stark contrast the Bible speaks of a completely new beginning:

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!" (2 Cor 5:17; NIV)

A “new creation”—the Greek word used here is ktisis. If anyone has dedicated himself or herself to Christ, that person is a new ktisis. The two major meanings of ktisis are: (1) the creative act, the act of creation or (2) the thing created, the creation itself.

 Paul explains how this can take place in vv. 14 and 15:  "For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died.  And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again." (2 Cor 5:14-15; NIV)

This is what baptism symbolizes. Your old life dies and you are buried under the water, just as Jesus was buried in the tomb. Then you stand up out of the water, just as Jesus stood up from the grave. You stand up as a new person, a new creation. That’s why Paul can confidently say “the old has gone, the new has come!”

But what happens with this new creation? What happens to us after we get this chance at a new beginning?

Paul says something interesting:  "All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation:  that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting mans sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors… " (2 Cor 5:17-20a; NIV)

Here is something amazing. When we make that decision to give ourselves wholeheartedly to Christ, and He begins that work of recreation in us, we become His ambassadors! We aren’t treated like the naughty boy who apologizes and is then allowed back in the classroom, but in a lonely corner separated from his friends. No, instead we are entrusted with the message of reconciliation. Suddenly our lives have a larger purpose than just earning enough to live comfortably.  When we meet Jesus as our personal Messiah, then our lives are filled with a deeper purpose, then we become His ambassadors, then we are entrusted with the message of reconciliation.

I could ask the question, “Where does this message leave us today?” Instead, “I am going to ask, “Where does this message find you today?”

Perhaps things are still going well. Sure, you’ve made some mistakes, you’ve messed up a little, but you’re still living with the hope that you will be able to start over, that this new year presents you with the perfect opportunity to turn over a new leaf—to drop some bad habits and pick up some good ones.

Perhaps things are falling apart. You’ve tried the starting over bit—over and over and over—and you’ve come to realize it’s just a futile attempt at making yourself feel better for a while. You’ve lost all hope in any real new beginning.

Perhaps you’ve met the Messiah. You’ve gone through the ups and downs. You’ve tried it all—you know what it’s like to promise yourself a new start, you know what it’s like to reach that point of hopelessness, of just giving up. But now you’ve met the Messiah. And suddenly you know what it is to really start over—to be a new creation.

Perhaps you’ve become His ambassador. You’ve been liberated, set free from you trust in yourself, your loss of hope. And now you can’t help but carry a message—the message that it’s okay. That God has made things right between you and Him, everyone and Him!

It doesn’t really matter where you are today, because today is a new day!

 Your challenge this week is to create a project using this scripture or another verse that remind us that each day is a new creation and a new chance to be His ambassador.  Please use keyword ODBDBVT61 when posting your project and then hop over to Our Daily Bread Designs Forum and share it with us!

Happy and Blessed New Year!

Supplies for this project
Cardstock:  Truly Yours – White Card base
Decorative Paper:  BoBunny – Gabrielle Collection
Stamps:  Our Daily Bread Designs - Faith
Inks, Stains, Paints & Colored Pencils:  Versafine – Onyx Black; Ranger Distress Ink – Ripe Persimmon
Dies, Punches & Embossing Folders:  Spellbinders – Labels 4 die; Cheery Lynn Mini Butterflies Die
Accessories & Other Stuff:  Wild Orchid Roses; Hero Arts Pearls


  1. LOVE your message today, Cheryl, and your card is so beautiful! Thanks for putting so much time into your BVT's!!! You are a blessing!

  2. This is such a beautiful card, and an even more beautifully-written blog post! God bless you. :) Thanks for joining us in the "Anything Goes" challenge over at the Simon Says Stamp challenge blog this week! xo

  3. Cheryl, this is a beautiful post and delightful card. Glad I stopped by.!

  4. Hi Cheryl: My name is karen - I run Word Art Wednesday, a Christian challenge blog. Our challenges start each Wedbesday and are always Anything Goes. I just LOVE this card, and I wanted to personally invite you to come by and share with us. We would really enjoy your fellowship, and hope you will check us out. We'd love to have you join us.
    Have a blessed day,
    Word Art Wednesday

    1. I am SO very blessed that you've come by to join us this week. Cheryl. It's always a treat to have fellowship with new friends, and I sincerely hope that you will find us friendly, enjoy our challenges, and come back soon (and often) to play along. We have some AMAZING sponsors lined up in 2013 and would just LOVE to see more of your beautiful art.
      Have a great week, and thanks for joining us!
      Word Art Wednesday

  5. Cheryl, welcome to Word Art Wednesday! We are so glad you decided to participate. Your creation here is just gorgeous, and I so appreciate the message in your post as well. We always delight when we have both an artist and a believer who decides to join our challenges. Thank you again and have a wonderful, God-filled week.
    Word Art Wednesday

  6. Beautiful card, love the colours, beautiful! Thanks so much for playing along with Paperplay!!

  7. Love it - thanks so much for playing along with Paperplay. Happy New Year!


Thank you for leaving a comment, we truly appreciate it!