The Old is Gone, the New Has Come! | January 18th, 2016
If you happen to have a birthday in January, you may already know that your birthstone is the beautiful, deep red garnet.
One of the best finds I have ever come across was an old garnet pin in Eureka Springs, Arkansas at a small antique shop. Dating all the way back to the Victorian era, I knew I had found quite a treasure!
Garnet is one of the oldest gemstones in human history with the oldest dating as far back as the Bronze Age when they were found as beads in a necklace worn by a young man in a grave from 3000 B.C. When used in making jewelry, garnets are traditionally arranged close together resembling the inside of a pomegranate:
A Greek Tradition
The Greeks have symbolically connected pomegranates and garnets since ancient times. One example is through their meaningful New Year’s custom. Just before midnight, all the lights are turned off to cover the “old” in darkness. All of the family members walk out of the house. One person, who is considered “lucky,” is chosen and handed a pomegranate which has been hanging on or above the front door since Christmas.
As soon as midnight strikes and the new year turns, the pomegranate is smashed either on the floor in front of the door or on the door itself. As it breaks open, it reveals an abundance of seeds. These seeds symbolize prosperity, so their belief is that the more seeds that are inside, the more prosperous you will be in the new year. The lights are then turned on to shed light on the “new” and everyone wishes each other “Kali Chronia!” meaning “Happy New Year!”
From Old to New
When we ask Jesus Christ to come into our life making us born again, our “old” sin nature dies. It was nailed to the cross when He died for us and was buried with Him. Just as He was raised up from the grave three days later, we are also raised up as a “new” creation.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 2 Corinthians 5:17
The “old” refers to all that is a part of our old nature. Instead of looking inwardly toward ourselves, the “new” looks outwardly toward Christ. Noticeable changes take place when we are transformed as a new creation. Our purposes, desires, and perceptions change.
You may now feel compassion for people you never thought you could. The material things you based so much importance upon may not mean much of anything to you anymore. Perhaps you find that you do not give in to sinful desires as easily or allow sin to control the way you live because you have the power of Christ living in you.
The Apostle Paul writes in his letter to the Galatians about his spiritual life, surrendering his sinful, selfish desires so that his life can be a beautiful reflection of Christ…
I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20
God’s Power in Us
In the book of Romans, Paul writes about the freedom we have from the power of sin…
Since we have been united with him in his death, we will also be raised to life as he was. We know that our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin. For when we died with Christ we were set free from the power of sin. And since we died with Christ, we know we will also live with him. We are sure of this because Christ was raised from the dead, and he will never die again. Death no longer has any power over him. When he died, he died once to break the power of sin. But now that he lives, he lives for the glory of God. So you also should consider yourselves to be dead to the power of sin and alive to God through Christ Jesus. Romans 6:5-11
What an incredible gift to be given freedom from sin’s clenched grasp on our lives simply by accepting Jesus Christ as our Savior so He can replace the power of sin with His mighty power in us!
Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Ephesians 3:20
When I recently heard the song Same Power by Jeremy Camp for the first time, I remember being in complete awe thinking about how the message in those lyrics of the chorus was so incredibly amazing, yet so true:
The same power that rose Jesus from the grave
The same power that commands the dead to wake
Lives in us, lives in us
The same power that moves mountains when He speaks
The same power that can calm a raging sea
Lives in us, lives in us
He lives in us, lives in us
Like a pomegranate filled with an abundance of seeds, may your life exhibit God’s abundant power and freedom over your old sin nature as a new creation in Him!
Sparkler #1: Prayer
If you have not done so already, invite Jesus Christ to be your Savior and Lord of your life. Ask Him to replace the power of sin with His power so that you may be transformed in your heart, mind, and spirit to shine brighter with His light as your desires become more of a reflection of Christ.
Sparkler #2: Action
Keep a journal of the ways your desires are changing from the “old” that have passed away to those as a “new” creation as you become closer to Christ in your relationship with Him. The more you love Him, the more you will want to obey Him and do what is right!
Sparkler #3: Challenge
What is a particular desire you struggle with from your old nature, indicating a need for God’s power to transform that desire to reflect one as a new creation in Christ? Ask for His power in your life and watch how God mightily works!
*Open pomegranate – photo credit: unsplash
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