Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin! For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones that you have broken rejoice. Hide your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.(Psalm 51:1-3, 7-10)
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)
There is something rather lovely about when a room has been freshly decorated. Once all the hard work of preparation, filling and painting has been done and you have dressed the room with new curtains or cushions there is a wonderful freshness about the room; everything looks perfect.
Over the past few years I have decorated many of the rooms in our house. At first I was a little reticent about what I was able to do so had the first room, the kitchen, decorated by someone else, but after that I slowly but surely worked my way around the house one room at a time. I still have one room still to do, but that can wait until next spring.
The first of the rooms that were decorated are now beginning to look a little tired in places. The usual wear and tear of living in a house means that some of the paintwork has got chipped or marked and so it does not look as good as it did in the beginning. So I have started going round the house looking at areas that need a bit of touching up. I started last Friday with the banisters. We only have a small staircase in the house so I painted the banisters lime green. The cat loves to play on them and between them, so they had got a bit scratched. After a bit of careful touching up they look as good as they did when they were first done. Yesterday I moved on to the kitchen and the paintwork around the doors and even with just the first coat done it is already looking much better.
While working in the kitchen I was reminded about our need to be renewed and refreshed by God. When we first came to God and asked him to forgive us our sins, we were made new and we had a wonderful freshness about us, but the wear and tear of living means that we get chipped and marked by sin and so we need to keep coming back to God to ask to be forgiven and refreshed again and each time he makes us like new. This process is never ending, just like the decorating in the house; it will never be finished because the house is lived in. We will only be fully made new when we die and go to heaven, until then we need to simply keep coming back to God, with all our chips and knocks and marks and scars and he will continue to renew us again and again.
Father God, I come before you as I am. I am sorry for the things I have done wrong, refresh and renew me this day to do your will.
Song: I Am a New Creation [with lyrics for congregations] - YouTube