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IN TOUCH WITH GOD   by Edward Heppenstall

Fellowship With God FEBRUARY 22


And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. Rev. 21:5.

As we usually think of the term, it is not new husbands, wives, children, that we need; not a different family to live with, but people in the family made new by Christ; not different teachers and preachers, but men and women renewed by the Holy Spirit. It is not a new church we need to attend, but a renewed church. We do not need a new Bible, but the same Word made new to us by the Holy Spirit. Truth becomes vibrant and alive with the reality of Jesus Christ. Doctrines that have become old and decrepit, that have lost their vital freshness, become new by the Spirit of God. In our hands the Bible becomes a new book by the Spirit.

We have a built-in capacity for what is right and wrong. We have a built-in capacity in our conscience that makes us feel guilty and inadequate when we sin. But we have no natural equipment for dealing with our sin and guilt. Zaccheus must have known he was a dishonest man. As a tax gatherer he had hired himself out to the Romans. He squeezed extra money for himself. He knew that he ought not to take money that did not belong to him. It was not until he met Jesus Christ that he found the power to become a new man. He found acceptance, forgiveness, love, and a new heart. He gave half of his goods to feed the poor. He restored fourfold his ill-gotten gains. Jesus made a new man out of him.

Paul knew that his hostility toward Christians was wrong. He must have felt condemned for being an accomplice in the death of Stephen. But it was not until he met Christ in that momentous face-to-face encounter on the Damascus road that he could do anything about it. Then he became a new man and one of the greatest Christians of all time.

The urgent need of the church is not new gadgets, new programs, new machinery; but new life and the renewing love of God flowing through us all. Whatever else our church accomplishes or undertakes, if it fails to make new men and new women in Christ, it fails altogether. Our great need is not a new message, but a renewed message by the Holy Spirit.

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