All Things New: New Year, New Start

January 1, 2020




I decided to start the new year and new decade with a SOAP note Bible journal entry!

Scripture


Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the old heaven and the old earth had disappeared. And the sea was also gone. And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven like a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, “Look, God’s home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them. He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.” And the one sitting on the throne said, “Look, I am making everything new!” And then he said to me, “Write this down, for what I tell you is trustworthy and true.” - Revelation 21:1-5 (NLT)
“See, I will create new heavens and a new earth. The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind."  -  Isaiah 65:17  

Observation


The amazing promise made in the passages above is the promise of a new heaven and a new earth. God does not repair or prop up the old world or the old Jerusalem or the old us. He makes all of it new.
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 (ESV)

Application


In 2010, I misapplied Scripture and stepped upon a New Age path that was to hold me in spiritual bondage for seven long years.

Interestingly, the Scripture in question was taken from the passages quoted above. It was misappropriated in a book by Eckhart Tolle called "A New Earth" to which I believed I had been led. That day I began my old metaphysical blog, The Mystic Review, stepped off the spiritual ledge I'd been clinging to and plunged headfirst into the dark.

I could have called it differently. I could have looked up the passage in the Bible instead of buying Tolle's book. But if I had done that, for better or for worse, I might not be here in this place, saved by grace.

To me, the instruction given to John to write down the true and trustworthy word of God applies, not just to Revelation, but to the entire Bible. It helps me to understand why recommitting to Bible journaling and focusing on Scripture is something I'm called to do.

Revelation 21 is an end time prophecy but it speaks to me today because it reminds me that it is the nature of God to make all things new. Every new day and new week and new year and new decade is His gift.

I hope everyone who reads this post will take a few minutes to talk to God about the gift of a brand new start and how to best make use of it. We are all in different places, with different challenges and different problems to overcome. But I believe that He moves in every life and that renewal is available for us all.

Prayer


Dear Heavenly Father. Thank you for bringing us here to this point in our lives. Thank you for the opportunity and the promise of the year and decade ahead. Please give us the wisdom to understand Your will for us and the courage to follow where You lead. May we be ambassadors of your love and warriors in your kingdom. In the name of Jesus Christ who makes all things new. Amen

The Shehechiyanu


This is a traditional Hebrew prayer called the Shehechiyanu which it said for various milestones or firsts. I said it for the first time when I dunked in the mikveh and converted to Judaiam and I said last month under my breath while I waited for the rental car at Ben Gurion Airport in Israel. Today I felt called to say it over the first post in this new year and decade. I invite you to join me in either in Hebrew or English.

Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the Universe, Who has kept us alive and sustained us and brought us to this season.
(Barukh ata adonai elohenu melekh ha’olam, shehecheyanu, v’kiyimanu, v’higiyanu la’z’man ha’zeh)

A break down of the English and Hebrew for the Shehechiyanu follows. (Please note that the Hebrew characters run right to left while the English translation and phonetic spelling runs left to right.)

Blessed are You, Lord
Barukh ata adonai

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְהֹוָה
our God, King of the Universe,
elohenu melekh ha’olam

אֱלֹהֵֽינוּ מֶֽלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם
Who has kept us alive and sustained us
shehecheyanu, v’kiyimanu,

שֶׁהֶחֱיָֽנוּ וְקִיְּמָֽנוּ
and brought us to this season.
v’higiyanu la’z’man ha’zeh

וְהִגִּיעָֽנוּ לַזְמַן הַזֶּה:

Wishing you and yours all the blessings of the coming year <3

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