A New Creation

Today’s reading is Genesis 35-37, Psalm 12, and Mark 14.

In Genesis 35:1, God tells Jacob to go make an altar to him in Bethel. Jacob obeys and invites his family and others with them to come along, as well as instructs them to put away their foreign gods and purify themselves and their clothes. They did as he instructed going to Bethel, and Jacob built the altar. God then tells Jacob in Genesis 35:10 he has a new name, Israel.

Throughout Scripture we have seen God also give others a new name when they commit to following Him. Simon became Peter which in original language was Cephas meaning rock. Abram becomes Abraham in Genesis 17. Saul also become Paul when he committed to following Jesus after years of persecuting Christians.

I believe God did this and included these real stories in the Bible for us to read still today because it signifies when we commit to following Him the old us has gone away, and we are a new creation saved through His blood.

Does this mean we will not make mistakes and fall into sin again? No, we will mess up again. We know Peter denied knowing Jesus out of fear, even when he knew Jesus was the Messiah and after all he had seen Jesus do and all Jesus had done for him. Abraham lied out of fear for his life saying Sarah was his sister instead of trusting God’s protection. We can also infer Paul might have been misguided in his disagreement with Barnabas which led to them splitting ways in Acts and although we don’t know the specific sins, Paul himself says in Romans 7:14-15 and Roman 7:19 that he falls into sin and does the exact things he does not want to do.

However, he still says in 2 Corinthians 5:17…

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold the new has come.”

Despite their mistakes even after becoming a new creation, God did big things with them. Jacob, now Israel, was the father of the 12 tribes of Israel. Abram, now Abraham, was the father of many nations. Simon, now Peter, became one of the founders of the church in spreading the Gospel. Saul, now Paul, spread the Gospel across and around the Mediterranean and wrote nearly half the New Testament.

Through the good and bad, God will do big things with and through you for His Kingdom when you become a new creation through committing to following Him.

Have you committed to letting Jesus be the Lord and leader of your life or do you need to recommit? If you want to, pray the following prayer…

Lord, thank for the unconditional love you showed by dying on the cross to forgive me from my sin. I believe that because you rose on Easter, I will also live with you in Heaven someday. I commit to living my life while still here on Earth for you. I ask that you watch over me, guiding and protecting me from Satan. Help me see myself the way you see me, as a new creation, righteous and holy where my sin is washed white as snow through your blood. I love you. Amen.


For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.

Luke 2:11

Today’s word to describe Jesus is Lord which is defined as ruler or master. Would you say Jesus is your ruler or master? If you asked me this question, I would be quick to answer yes. However, when I really sit back and reflect, unfortunately, He is the Lord of my life some of the time and in some things, but I have to admit He is not all of the time and in all things. He’s the Lord of my Sunday mornings when there is church, and He is the Lord of my Thursday nights when we have our scheduled weekly small group. But, everything in between…again..some of the time when I think to consult Him and to make Him a part of some aspects of my life.

It is often easier to go to Him as your Lord when you have nowhere else to turn or you know you have no control anyway. Last year, we were faced with some major decisions in how to treat spinal stenosis in my neck which had already caused me to lose strength and functionality in my right hand and threatened my ability to walk long-term without surgery. I learned one big thing, when it comes to certain things like your health, we are often times forced to make Him Lord and give Him control because there is literally nothing we can personally do to fix it. Looking back, this probably should have been much more stressful with questions like do I have surgery or try another route first, which type of surgery when there are multiple options, which doctor do I trust, will my symptoms get worse and will I lose my ability to use my hand or even walk, and will I need more surgeries in the future? However, we leaned on Him and prayed not only for healing, but for wisdom, guidance, and clarity to make the best decisions. He gave us peace through it all, and not only did He provide an unexpected surgery option different than what Mayo and other doctors were performing for my conditions, but He made it clear this was the route to go. At the same time, we were faced with a major decision on whether to change my role within my career at Northwestern Mutual. Again, we made Him Lord and prayed through these decisions and the direction was clear without much stress or anxiety. Out of necessity, I learned how He can make major things not seem as big and stressful when we make Him Lord.

Then, why do I get stressed about a little thing at 2:00 on a Tuesday or wondering if my to-do list will get done or when our kids are acting up? Simple…I am not making him Lord of the small, everyday things..only the big things. My opportunity for growth in my relationship with Him is to make Him Lord of these little things. Not making Him Lord of these things robs me from gratitude for all He’s given me and the joy of everyday life with my family, friends, and in my career.

Why do we do this? Some may wonder if He even cares about the little things. Why would the God who created the sun, moon, stars, and the universe really care about my little problems? Simple..He created us. For us who are parents, think how much we care about our kids’ problems. We would do anything to help..to a fault sometimes. Think about our kids when they create a Lego or block tower. They are so proud of their creation. And in turn, they are very protective of it and get really upset when their younger sibling wrecks it. Why? Because they created it. The creator cares immensely about their creation. Each one of us are His special creation as Psalm 139:13-14 tells us.

Why else don’t we make Him Lord of the little things in our life? We don’t think we need it, and we think we can handle it on our own. But…it’s obvious we can’t or we would not get so stressed and upset about the small stuff. Many suffer from anxiety about things that are relatively minor in the big picture of life on this Earth and especially in the big picture of eternity.

How can we improve at making Him Lord of our life, and especially the little things where many of us need the most improvement? There are many ways such as reading His Word daily, attending church regularly, and joining a small group. However, I believe what all of these things really do is help us develop an awareness of His presence in our life which leads to a relationship with Him through the conduit of prayer. As a decoration in my parents’ house reads, “Prayer is the ultimate wireless connection.” This is how in the big moments and the small ones in life we offload our problems to Him and ask for His help. We realize we may not have this, but He’s got this and He’s got us. As a recent article in The Wall Street Journal my brother sent our family on the power of prayer stated, connecting with Him in prayer is like heading up a huge mountain with a heavy backpack and then handing it off to Him. Believe it or not, He wants us to. He asks us to. We are his creation, and He as our creator wants our hearts and for us to acknowledge that He is Lord and give everything to Him.

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

Matthew 11:28-30

Please pray with me…

God…please help me make you the Lord and ruler of my life. Help me to know that you, as my Creator, truly care about and are in control of not only the big things, but also the little things that will come up in my day today and every day. I thank you for this and for showing me your ultimate love by sacrificing your only Son on the cross for me. I love you. Amen.