TEXT: Isaiah 43:16-19; Lam. 3:22-23
Still bathing in the euphoria of a new year, we have the divine mandate to share with us and sentisize us to the reality of the fact that a new beginning is realistic in the Lord Jesus Christ because we are serving a God who is committed to doing new things. Though it is the beginning of a new year, the ability of God in this regard is not limited to a new year alone because on daily basis, weekly basis, monthly basis and indeed in the journey of life and the race we are running HE CAN DO NEW THINGS.
BACKGROUND TO OUR TEXT
Israel was led into captivity in Babylon on account of their sins and iniquities as a punitive measure. Given the circumstances they found themselves in and the prevailing situations vis a vis the fortified city of Babylon they gave up hope of restoration. Chapters 40 onward of Isaiah was however a message of HOPE and RESTORATION unto NEW BEGINNINGS from the Lord to His people. As the Israel of God today as Christian â€“ Gal. 6:16, It should interest us to know that our God is never a respecter of persons in this regard. He will do again what He has done before.
Isaiah 43: contains
i. Precious promises made to Godâ€™s people in their affliction, His presence, their support in affliction and the assurance of deliverance from it vs 1-7.
ii. A challenge to idols to vie with the omniscience and omnipotence of God vs 8-13.
iii. Encouragement given to the people of God to HOPE FOR their deliverance out of Babylon encouraging them to consider how their fathers were delivered from the land of Egypt vs 14-21.
iv. A reminder of their sins which provoked God to send them into captivity to the end that they might REPENT and SEEK God for pardoning mercy unto NEW BEGINNINGS, NEW THINGS vs 22-28.
THE STATE OF BABYLON
1. Babylon was founded by Nimrod, the great grandson of Noah â€“ Gen. 10:8-10.
2. It became one of the most magnificent and luxuriant cities in the world there and then.
3. Superbly constructed it spread over an area of fifteen square miles.
4. The Euphrates River was flowing diagonally across the city.
5. The city was surrounded by a wall 350 feet high, and 87 feet thick extending 35 feet below the ground to prevent TUNE LING and wide enough for 6 CHARIOTS to drive abreast.
6. Around the top of the wall were 250 watchtowers placed in strategic locations. 7. The wall had 100 gates of brass which enemies must have to contend with before gaining access.
8. Outside the HUGE wall was a large DITCH which surrounded the city and was kept filled with water from the Euphrates River. The large ditch was meant to serve as an additional protection against attacking enemies.
To attack Babylon therefore the enemy would have to:
(a) Cross this body of water first.
(b) Approach the great wall.
(c) Break the 100 gates of brass â€“ Ps. 107:15-18
9. It was in this fortified city that Israel was locked up and they gave up all hope of starting afresh or restoration.
10. Thus they said by the rivers of Babylon there we sat down and there we wept when we remember zion â€“ Ps. 137:1-9.
11. Inspite of this however, God intervened, granted them restoration unto new beginning. He restored them from CAPTIVITY â€“ Ps. 126:1-6. They were lawful captives yet delivered unto new beginning â€“ Is. 49:24-26.
12. THIS MESSAGE is thus meant for ALL THOSE WHO ARE BELIEVING GOD FOR NEW THINGS in all spheres of life.
SONG: Oh than men will praise the Lord â€“ Ps. 107:15-16
FACTS ABOUT NEW THINGS
1. All things are renewable in God through Jesus Christ our Lord â€“ 2 Cor. 5:17.
2. New spirit is possible â€“ Ezek 11:19.v 3. New creature is possible. God can recreate â€“ Eph. 4:24.
4. Dried bones renewable â€“ Ezek. 37:10. Romans 8:11
5. New merry, new joy, new celebrations possible â€“ Luke 15:24.
6. Mind is renewable â€“ New mind â€“ Rm. 12:2.
7. Inner renewal â€“ 2 Cor. 4:16.
8. New name is possible (Abram, Jacob, Saul) â€“ Isaiah 62:2
9. New song is possible â€“ Ps. 33:3, Ps. 40:3, Ps. 144:9.
10. New parts of the body â€“ Eye, Ear, Nose, Liver kidney. (God has a store with body spare parts)
HOW TO EXPERIENCE NEW THINGS IN GOD
1. Forget the former old things â€“ Is. 43:18.
2. Be expectant â€“ Ps. 62:5, Prov. 23:18, Prov. 10:28. In our expectations we must watch out for opportunities that God may bring our way and be ready to ACT accordingly â€“ Acts 3:1-10
3. Watch your tongue â€“ 1 Peter. 3:10, Num 14:28.
4. Reject every unfavourable and ridiculous condition and claim your portion in Christ Jesus by grace. Num. 13:25-33.
5. You need a different spirit from the spirit in the world. Beware of the spirit of impossibility for we are serving a God of all possibilities. Have the mindset for new things, think of it. Num. 14:24; Phil. 4:8.
6. Do not tie yourself to ungodly traditions and customs. God moves in mysterious ways to perform His wonders â€“ Matt. 15:1-3.
7. Have faith in God â€“ Do not fear, do not doubt â€“ James 1:6-8.Mk. 11:22-24.v 8. Repent and seek Godâ€™s pardoning â€“ Acts 3:19.
9. Learn to wait upon the Lord, in prayer, in fellowship, in the study of Godâ€™s word in fasting as led by the Lord â€“ Is. 40:28-30.
10. Listen to faith inspiring testimonies and not TAILS.
11. Learn to Praise and thank God trusting Him, His words and His promises. Thank Him for the past Gratitude for the past blessings is conditional to scalling new altitudes. Also thank and Praise Him in anticipation of what you are trusting Him for.
12. Get hooked to the HOLY SPIRIT. Let Him be your SENIOR PATNER. HE IS THE AGENT OF RENEWAL â€“ Titus 3:5.
13. Keep serving God â€“ 1 Cor. 15:58.
1. Samson forfeited the opportunities of a new and better beginning due to lack of understanding, he died with his problem; he died with the Philistines â€“ Judges 16:26-30.
2. Judasâ€™ sorrow for his shortcoming was an ungodly sorrow and he hanged himself â€“ 2 Cor. 7:10.
3. Mary Magdalene had a new beginning she was delivered of seven demons and she became an evangelist.
4. Ruthâ€™s new beginning was unto latter glory ranking her on the lineage of Jesus. Ruth 1:16-17
5. Rahab the harlot had a new beginning and today she is highly honoured in the genealogy of Jesus. Joshua 12:8-15
6. Peter had a new beginning after denying Jesus Christ and became a spiritual giant. 7. Saul had a new beginning became Paul and excelled above others in ministerial exploits.
8. Miracles of Divine healing abound.
YOU ARE THE NEXT IN LINE FOR A NEW, BETTER AND MORE GLORIOUS BEGINNING IF ONLY YOU BELIEVE EVEN IF YOU ARE THE WORST OF SINNERS. His promises include MAKING A WAY IN THE WILDERNESS, AND RIVERS IN THE DESERT.
The ability of God to do new things cuts across all spheres of human endeavour marital, spiritual, financial, moral, academic, psychological, economy, name it.
Creating a new beginning is realistic with God given His antecedents in same regard. Worry is a TIME WASTER. Your past can not be changed. Keep looking forward not backward. Driving and looking back at same time leads to accident. Expect new joy, testimony, breakthrough etc from God. Phil. 3:13-14.
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