The Image Breaker Kay Keith Peebles

Kay K. Peebles

Every person has been given two images of themselves, one from God and the other from Satan.  Our sin nature feeds the image from Satan, allowing it to dominate us.  God’s plan for us, however, is a completely different image and we can find it as we seek Him through His Word, prayer and by being quiet in His presence so that we may hear His voice.

One of my favorite Christian books is “Hinds’ Feet on High Places”, by English writer Hannah Hurnard.  It was published in 1955.  The lead character is Much Afraid, who is a yearling belonging to the Fearlings family.  They live in the Valley of Humiliation. Her family had arranged for her to be married to a cousin named Craven Fear.  Much Afraid is insecure, fearful and easily controlled by her family of Fearlings.  The family consists of several formidable characters named Gloomy, Spiteful, Foreboding, Dismal, and of course, Craven Fear.  More distant relatives are Self-pity, Bitterness and Pride.  All these family members attempt to keep Much Afraid intimidated and a permanent resident in the Valley of Humiliation.  This was their image for her.

The Shepherd, however, reveals himself to Much Afraid and offers her a completely different lifestyle and image of herself.  He draws her to the High Places although she visibly has many afflictions, such as club feet, a crooked mouth, ugly appearance, and deformed hands.  Much Afraid becomes enthralled with the notion that the Shepherd believes in her ability to abide in the cliffs and shear ledges of the High Places.  She answers his call to come up higher but questions her escorts, Sorrow and Suffering, whom the Shepherd assigns to aid her as she begins her ascent upward.

Surrendered to the Shepherd, Much Afraid receives her first gift from him.  He plants the “Seed of Love” within her heart.  It is inserted with a slight feeling of pain, but quickly settles into a peace that strengthens her for the journey.  She is surprised that her ascent upward to the High Places often leads her downward through difficult situations, trials and challenges.  She soon realizes each are meant to build her stamina, increase her resolve, and reveal insight to the new image her Shepherd has for her.  The book ends with a newly created hind, healed of all deformity and weakness, fear and insecurity.  She is re-named Grace and Glory by the Shepherd, the lover of her soul.  She becomes bold, secure in His love and sure footed.  She has developed the ability to withstand those who once brought her low, and she has obtained freedom from all that made her fearful.  Her transformation became a witness to all her family that lived in the Valley of Humiliation.

“The Lord God is my Strength, my personal bravery, and my invincible army; He makes my feet like hinds’ feet and will make me to walk [not to stand in terror, but to walk] and make [spiritual] progress upon my high places [of trouble, suffering and responsibility]!”  Habakkuk 3:19.

Mephibosheth was the grandson of King Saul and the son of Jonathan, David’s friend. His name means exterminator of shame or image breaker. (Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary).   “Jonathan, Saul’s son had a son who was a cripple in his feet.  He was five years old when the news came out of Jezreel [of the deaths] of Saul and Jonathan.  And the boy’s nurse took him up and fled; and in her haste, he fell and became lame.  His name was Mephibosheth.”  2 Samuel 4:4

Before King Saul became jealous of David, he and Jonathan became close friends.  Jonathan made a covenant of friendship with David.  “When David had finished speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own life…Then Jonathan made a covenant with David, because he loved him as his own life.  And Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was on him and gave it to David, and his armor, even his sword, his bow, and his girdle.  And David went out wherever Saul sent him, and he prospered and behaved himself wisely; and Saul set him over the men of war.”  1 Samuel 18:1-5.  (Read entire chapter).

Later on, David had to flee the country because King Saul, through jealousy, sought to kill him.  Rather than defending his own life, David chose to leave the kingdom.  He walked in integrity refusing to hurt the king.  He would not even speak against him.  David was a mighty warrior and Jonathan knew he could have killed his father if he had so desired.  Jonathan was caught between his father and his closest friend, David.  He chose to support David, made a covenant with him, and protected him.  He also decided to honor his father by standing with him in his time of need.  “So Jonathan made a covenant with the house of David, saying, And the Lord will require that this covenant be kept at the hands of David’s enemies.  And Jonathan caused David to swear again by his love for him, for Jonathan loved him as he loved his own life.”  1 Samuel 20:16-17.

Eleven years passed as David kept one step ahead of King Saul and his men, who searched the land in order to locate and kill David.  David proved faithful twice by leaving evidence he had been in close enough proximity to have killed the king but chose otherwise.  David had the fear of God and knew it was only God’s right to judge King Saul in His own timing.  He showed great restraint as he honored the Lord and “his anointed” King Saul.  Sometimes anointed vessels of the Lord do not act honorably toward others or the Lord.  They may even fall into serious sin as David eventually did, but they are still the Lord’s anointed.  David knew better than to be judge and executioner of a fellow son of God because only God can judge the heart of man.

King Saul’s judgement day ultimately came.  He was killed by the Philistine army along with Jonathan and his other sons.  David eventually became King of Israel.  Mephibosheth had been hidden since the death of his father and grandfather for several years.  King David inquired if there were any descendants of King Saul or Jonathan left in the land.  Ziba, who had been of the house of Saul was asked by David, “Is there not still someone of the house of Saul to whom I may show the [unfailing, unsought, unlimited] mercy and kindness of God?  Ziba replied, Jonathan has yet a son who is lame in his feet.”  2 Samuel 9:3.  He summoned Mephibosheth to his palace and he came before King David in fear and trembling.

“And Mephibosheth son of Jonathan, the son of Saul, came to David and fell on his face and did obeisance.  David said to him, Fear not, for I will surely show you kindness for Jonathan your father’s sake, and will restore to you all the land of Saul your father [grandfather], and you shall eat at my table always.  And [the cripple] bowed himself and said, What is your servant, that you should look upon such a dead dog as I am?  Then the king called to Ziba, Saul’s servant, and said to him, I have given your master’s son [grandson] all that belonged to Saul and to all his house…So Mephibosheth ate at David’s table as one of the king’s sons.”  2 Samuel 9:6-11.  Mephibosheth’s grandfather, King Saul had sinned against the Lord and excused his actions before the prophet Samuel instead of repenting of his sin.  He brought shame and dishonor upon his family.  Jonathan, however, honored his father while he also honored David who had been anointed by God to be king in Saul’s place.  His actions restored honor to his household.  It was through his covenant with David that Mephibosheth was cared for all the days of his life.  His honor and respect was restored to the place that he once again sat at the king’s table as a son and he was given back all his inheritance for the rest of his life.  Mephibosheth saw himself as a dead dog, but God had another plan.  His name “image breaker” foretold of his destiny.

The Lord is calling forth the Mephibosheths in the earth.  There are those who once ate at the King’s (Lord’s) table but fell, became crippled (whether at the hand of another or by their own sin) and have hidden themselves from the Lord.  He is inviting them back to His table to partake of his unfailing, unsought and unlimited mercy and kindness toward them!  There are those Mephibosheths who have never before eaten at the King’s table.  They have family members who have prayed and interceded for their life and the Lord wants to invite them to His table of provision filled with His unfailing love, unsought, unlimited mercy and kindness.  The Lord is also calling those Mephibosheths who believe they are the dead dogs, the unredeemable of society, the unwanted and filled with fear.  The Lord is saying to them, come to My table of grace and mercy.  Come partake of my unfailing love, my abundant grace and mercy and my healing waters.  My table is for you, just come!

God’s arms are open wide to all who will respond to His call to come to His table.  It is a table of healing, a table of provision, a table of restoration and a table that offers a new name, a new identity, and a new way.  King David showed Mephibosheth his identity was not a dead dog, it was son of a king!  The Lord is the true image breaker.  He calls us to surrender to His plans and purposes for our life and removes the stigma of our old, crippled and broken life.   He exterminates our shame and delivers us from fear.  He clothes us in His righteousness, places a ring on our finger and sits us at the place of honor at His table.  He has picked us out from among the crowd and called us to come out of the Valley of Humiliation so that He may give us hind’s feet to dwell in the high places with Him.  He crowns us with glory and honor (Psalm 8:5) as we become transformed to reflect the image of Christ.

Thoughts on Leadership, Part 1 by Larry W Peebles

Thoughts on Leadership, Part 1   by   Larry W Peebles  April 21, 2017   17.14

This might just be my dream job.  I was invited to interview for a major leadership position with a big company in our local area with a great brand name.  This was a successful company with an image to match.  They were looking for a company president to take them to another level.  I went through a high level interview, with all the appropriate tests and interview strategies, conducted over several sessions.  In one of the sessions I was asked to name a favorite book or a book that I had read recently.  I replied “the Bible”.  This caused an awkward moment for the interviewer, as if that was an unusual or inappropriate answer.  I think the follow up question to my answer was “Why”?  I gave a short but accurate response and we moved on to the next question.  Instead of my answer being considered a strong answer, I had the impression it was deemed something they might be able to overlook or work around.

I was offered that job, but after praying, I felt I should decline.  God ultimately had something even better in mind.  Thinking back on it, I do not believe I could have been happy in a company that never saw themselves intentionally aligned with Biblical principles, or had no appreciation for or understanding of anyone who was seeking Biblical wisdom and guidance.

I have been fortunate to have many men in my life that I respected and considered to be leaders—even great leaders.  As I think of these men, I realize styles of leadership vary.  My dad, my father-in-law, my two brothers, a coach, and a few pastors and friends are certainly on the short list of leaders that impacted my life.  However, for purposes of this article, I will use my grandpa as an example of a great leader.  I loved my grandpa, and the older I get, the more I remember from what he taught me.  I do not write this to glorify my grandpa, although I adored him and think of him often.  He led by example more than by what he said.  Much of what he demonstrated I did not grasp until years later.  There is no better legacy than to have your example endorsed by the Bible.

Let’s start with this familiar principle–we reap what we sow.  I can remember when I was a small boy I found my grandpa alone in the barn, combing through the ears of corn, hand sorting each one.  Everyone else was in the yard starting to celebrate finishing the harvest of the corn crop.  Good ears went in one pile, bad ears that were only partially developed, or that had sections of brown or black kernels went in another.  The bad ears would be used for hog or cow feed.  Grandpa was really looking for the outstanding ears—the ones that were big, perfectly developed, with rich golden kernels.  Grandma’s fried chicken at the celebration would have to wait until he had finished searching for the perfect ears of corn.

When he found one of those golden perfect ears, it went in yet another pile in the corner of the barn.  After those ears dried, they would be run through a special machine that picked the kernels off the cob, where they fell down a chute into a seed bag.  The seed bag would be sewn shut, and the seed stored until the next planting season.

Without his ever saying a word, my grandfather taught me a valuable lesson.  If one wants to produce a field of big, beautiful golden corn, one must have the discipline to start with the best seed.  Seed selected from the partially developed ears with black kernels would produce more of that same poor quality corn.  The poor corn should be fed to the animals.  Similarly, the seed from the average corn would produce more average corn.   This corn could be sold or eaten.  The very best corn had only one purpose.  It was not to be eaten, not even at the celebration with friends and neighbors who helped bring in the crop.  The very best corn needed to be his seed for the next planting.  Similarly, the best results require the best effort.  If we expect to be treated well, we must treat others well.  Loving others is the best way to receive love in our lives.

The Bible says it this way.  “Be not deceived: God is not mocked; for whatever a man shall sow, that also shall he reap.”  Galatians 6: 7.  Whatever one plants determines his harvest.  My grandpa provided a graphic illustration of this Biblical truth I shall never forget.  Consider these additional examples that reveal great leadership:

  1. He worked hard, dawn to dusk, and he was not afraid to do things that were hard. There were fields to plow, livestock to feed, barns and fences to build or paint, and lots of children and grandchildren that needed attention.  Colossians 3:23- “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men.”  Proverbs 16:3- “Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.”  Proverbs 14:23- “In all toil there is profit, but mere talk tends only to poverty.”  Isaiah 41:10—“Fear not, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
  2. He did not work on Sunday. Exodus 20:10- “But the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God: in it you shall not do any work, not you, nor your son, nor your daughter, your manservant, nor your maidservant, nor your cattle, nor any stranger that is within your gates.”  Sunday morning was for church, and Sunday afternoon was for the large family gathering at the farm for fellowship, a light evening meal, or perhaps homemade ice cream.
  3. Grandpa not only rested himself, he rested the land. He lived his whole life on his farm.  He was born there, and he died there.  He was a successful farmer, married over 50 years to one wife, and raised six children through two world wars and the Great Depression.  Under all that pressure, he never over-worked the land.  He also never used fertilizer on his crops.  He plowed the stubble back into the field after the last crop, and let it decay naturally back into the soil.  Certain crops were planted that had no value except to rejuvenate the soil, and crops were rotated through different fields.  On a rotating schedule, he also rested a field so it could refresh itself.  Leviticus 25:4- “During the seventh year the land shall have a Sabbath rest, a Sabbath rest to the Lord; you shall not sow [plant] your field nor prune your vineyard.”
  4. Grandpa left an inheritance. He left a book full of fond memories, an example of a life well lived, and a monetary inheritance.  Although he only completed formal education through the third grade, he ultimately owned two farms, and a number of rental homes and commercial buildings.  He was decisive with the investments he made with the money he had received as a blessing from God.  When he died, my dad and mom (his daughter) were able to pay cash for a modest home from the inheritance.  When my dad and mom passed, my portion of the proceeds of the sale of that house went to my children, or grandpa’s great grandchildren.  Proverbs 13: 22- “A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children.”
  5. Grandpa was a willing lender/giver to those in need. He loaned money to my older brother to finish college.  He gave me and my wife an envelope full of cash on our wedding day, which took a great deal of financial strain off our plans for the honeymoon.  Grandpa had no debt, and he never had a credit card; he paid cash for everything.  One of the blessings the Lord promised Israel in return for following and obeying Him is found in Deuteronomy 28: 12- “You will lend to many nations but will borrow from none.”
  6. He cared for the widow. I went with him and watched him care for his mother and my grandma’s mother (both my great grandmothers) after they became widows.  He would visit them often, make sure they had food to eat, check on their health, and keep up the maintenance on their homes.  James 1:27 says- “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”  I watched him care for his wife (my grandma) when she had a stroke and went into the nursing home.  As busy as he was, he always had time for others and their needs.  This experience helped me as I cared for my parents in their later years.
  7. He helped his family and neighbors. He could repair almost anything.  He painted my first car, put new brakes on my cousin’s first car, and helped my dad keep our family car running.  If he was not repairing his own farm equipment, he was off helping a neighbor repair theirs, or helping them bring in a crop.  Hebrews 6:10- “For God is not unjust so as to overlook your work and the love you have shown for his name in serving the saints, as you still do.”
  8. He loved to laugh. He had a certain enthusiasm for life.  Many of his children, my aunts and uncles, carried on that trait.  They were the generation that courageously carried the burden of WWII, but when the war was over, they came home, rebuilt their lives, moved forward, and learned to laugh again.  They never allowed their situation or their circumstances to diminish their joy or hope.  Psalm 126: 2-3– “Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy.  Then it was said among the nations, The Lord has done great things for them.  The Lord has done great things for us, and we were filled with joy.”

He never used tobacco products, and the only alcohol I saw him drink was a little brandy he made himself from peaches he grew on his farm.  These are just some of the leadership examples my grandpa left for me, all Bible based.  Enthusiasm, courage, discipline, and decisiveness are some of the traits of a leader I saw in my grandpa.  I’m sure Grandpa was not perfect, and maybe these are the things I choose to remember about him.  But the examples I remember out of the shadow he chose to cast helped me as I grew older.

Peter was one of Jesus’ disciples and a leader in the early church.  His shadow healed the sick as he walked by.  (Acts 5:15).  We all cast a shadow as we walk through life.  My prayer is that my shadow is helpful to others, not harmful.  My prayer is that I can be a positive influence on my wife, children and grandchildren.  My prayer is that I can lead by example, and demonstrate an inner Biblical compass that points to Jesus.

WORDS HAVE POWER Kay Keith Peebles

Kay K. Peebles

I remember hearing the phrase:  “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me”.  It was a ridiculous statement one would say when their feelings had been hurt deeply.  I said it and ran home in tears several times when I was a child.  There was absolutely no truth in those words.  The Bible says “Death and life is in the power of the tongue, and those who love it and indulge it will eat its fruit and bear the consequences of their words.”  Proverbs 18:21.

I went to church every Sunday while growing up.  My family attended Sunday mornings and evenings and I regularly participated in our youth group.  If our church scheduled a week of revival meetings, we were there.  I was on the church board as a teenage representative and I taught Sunday school and Vacation Bible School as a college student.  I was a church choir member from high school through my adult life, but I wasn’t saved (born again).  I did not know Jesus as my personal Lord and Savior and I did not know the Word of God.  I was simply religious.  My biggest obstacle in finding the Lord was pride.  I had tried to be the “good little girl” all my life.  I tried to obey the rules and not make trouble.  I didn’t know what I had done that deserved my death and hell.

Eleven years of a challenging marriage, two children and one miscarriage brought me to a place of crisis.  Nothing was working and I was an angry, disappointed and disillusioned 30 year old wife and mother.  My marriage was in shambles and I had nowhere to turn for help except the Lord.  I had been in Bible Study for two years and was beginning to learn about Jesus.  He was not the distant God I had imagined.  He was not old, angry, and eagerly searching for those who disobeyed His laws in order to punish them.  Instead, He was the kind, gentle, loving, graceful and merciful Lord who died on a cross for my sins.  His judgments were righteous.  He was the One who carried the weight of my sinful consequences upon Himself, so that I could be adopted into His family.

One night, feeling hopeless that my marriage was lost, I dedicated my life and my children to the Lord because I somehow knew He would take care of us no matter what happened.  He graciously answered my prayers that night.  He showed me my sin, but not in a condemning way.  He explained the answers to my questions about why I should deserve death and hell.  He told me, “Your words have killed others.”  He did not mean that the people I hurt had literally died, but that my words had deeply injured them, killing something inside of them.  I knew I had a sharp tongue and felt determined to win every argument.  I also knew that I had rejected Him all those years, thinking I was a good person.  I began to understand that words can wound more deeply than weapons.  I was forgiven, and my heart had begun the transformation process.  I was finally seeing things from God’s perspective.

Jesus spoke to the Pharisees and the people teaching them the consequences of judging others and the power of their words.  Matthew 12:34b “For out of the fullness of the heart the mouth speaks.  The good man from his inner good treasure flings forth good things, and the evil man out of his inner evil storehouse flings forth evil things.  But I tell you, on the day of judgment men will have to give account for every idle (inoperative, nonworking) word they speak.  For by your words, you will be justified and acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned and sentenced.”

Gaining control of our tongue is extremely difficult and I am still learning.  Lately, I have been hearing the Lord speak to me deeper revelation about the power and authority He has given us through what we speak and declare.  It is exciting to know that He charges us to pray and declare certain things He wants to do in the earth.  It is also terrifying to know that I can speak the wrong things, even casually, and bring curses upon myself and others.  I am becoming more sober minded about what I say because “the power of death and life are in the tongue”.

The Apostle James discussed the importance of controlling our tongue in James chapter 3.  He began by praising one who has successfully learned to guard his mouth.  “For we all often stumble and fall and offend in many things.  And if anyone does not offend in speech [never says the wrong things], he is a fully developed character and a perfect man, able to control his whole body and to curb his entire nature.”  Spiritual maturity is equated with the ability to control our tongue.  James sees it as the litmus test for a mature Christian.

James continued his discourse by describing the destruction that can come from a “loose” tongue.  “And the tongue is a fire.  [The tongue is a] world of wickedness set among our members, contaminating and depraving the whole body and setting on fire the wheel of birth (the cycle of man’s nature), being itself ignited by hell (Gehenna).”  We get the picture!

The Lord has great plans for our tongue.  What we declare, decree and pray makes a major contribution to inviting His Kingdom to come down and influence things here on earth.  “Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”  (See Matthew 6:9-13).  The Lord created the heavens and the earth by declaring and decreeing His will:  “Let there be light”.  He called prophets forth to declare and decree His will over kings, nations and people.  He has also called us, His disciples, to declare and decree truth, light, His attributes and His works in the earth today.  We are to “bear witness” to Who He is and What He has done (and is continuing to do) on earth.

Our sin nature is solely based on self:  how things affect us personally.  It is not focused on God’s plan and purpose for our lives in regard to His Kingdom.  Therefore, we can become envious, jealous, offended and bitter.  When that happens, our tongue is used to gossip, slander, pull down others, compete with others and curse others in anger.  Unfortunately, we often do so against our brothers and sisters in the Lord which can cause divisions that affect churches, friendships and families by destroying them.

It is therefore imperative that we allow the Lord to transform us through Bible study and meditating on His Word in His presence.  We will then learn to properly intercede (pray) for the body of Christ to mature in the knowledge of our Lord.  We will also learn how to operate in a Kingdom mentality helping the Kingdom of God to expand in the earth.  We will become salt and light as our prayers, declarations, and decrees of His will in the lives of His church and the world manifests His Kingdom in the earthly realm.

There have been many times I have meditated upon the power and authority of the Apostles after Jesus’ resurrection compared to what I see in the church today.  I have struggled with the differences.  I have come to the conclusion that many believers are still heavily influenced by the secular world view, politics, and celebrity instead of becoming the influence of the Kingdom of God in the earth.  I say this not to condemn, because we have all failed from time to time.  My purpose is to challenge us all to begin to judge ourselves more carefully by weighing our conversations in and out of church and examining who or what we are allowing to influence us.  Matthew 7:17- teaches, “Even so, every healthy (sound) tree bears good fruit [worthy of admiration], but the sickly (decaying worthless) tree bears bad (worthless) fruit.  A good (healthy tree cannot bear (worthless) fruit, nor can a bad (diseased) tree bear excellent fruit [worthy of admiration].”

Every idle word, negative judgment made, criticism and accusation of others not only works against the Kingdom of God, it expands the kingdom of darkness.  Every praiseworthy witness, declaration of truth, action of love, and decree of what the Lord has done is building His Kingdom on earth!  Every acknowledgement of Who He is, praising His attributes and celebrating His faithfulness, mercy and grace resoundingly invites heaven to earth!

What we say matters, and that may be why we have not seen answers to some of our prayers.  How we influence others matters, by whether we draw them to the Lord or repel them from Him.  We must ask ourselves this question, “Are we building His Kingdom in the earth or are we just passing through life focused upon ourselves?”

Jesus spoke what the Father told Him to speak and the Kingdom of Heaven invaded the earthly realm.  The Apostles and Prophets spoke what the Lord told them to speak and the Kingdom of Heaven manifested in the earth.  When we allow the Lord to apply the hot coal of fire upon our lips, cleansing our mouths from earthly banter, we can then be used by God to open up the Heavens giving His Spirit free reign on earth.  (See Isaiah 6:1-7).

Words matter.  “Death and life are in the power of our tongue.”  May we go and build His Kingdom, one word at a time.

Repair or Replace by Larry W Peebles

Repair or Replace   by   Larry W Peebles   April 7, 2017   17.12

The food in the refrigerator was ruined.  I knew it as soon as I opened the freezer compartment to retrieve some ice.  The ice in the freezer had melted, and the water that resulted had mixed with the liquids from the other defrosted foods to form a sticky slime that filled the bottom to over flowing.  The temperature in the freezer was tropical warm.  The meats were ruined, along with all the packages of peaches my wife and I had peeled and put away from the summer crop.  There would be no fresh peach cobbler until next summer.  From the looks of things, the freezer had stopped cooling some time ago.

Fortunately this was not the main kitchen refrigerator, and the loss from the refrigerator compartment below the freezer was minimal.  This was a back-up refrigerator in the downstairs kitchenette off the game room.  It did a good job of producing ice.  We used it for over flow, and to store freezer items we do not use every day, such as the peaches.  Since it was not in use daily, some time had passed since it was last opened.  There was nothing to do immediately except throw out the spoiled items and clean up the mess.  Once that was done, I could begin the process of analyzing why it had failed, and make the decision to repair it or replace it with a new refrigerator.

There are some things I can fix, and enjoy doing it, but a refrigerator is not one of them.  I decided it was time to call in the experts.  In a few days, the local appliance repairman had performed his inspection and found the problem.  The electronic mother-board (or “brains”) of the refrigerator had failed, and would need to be replaced.  My cost to repair would be the charge for the first service call, plus the cost of the part including installation. The part would have to be ordered.  While this was no small expense, it was a lot better than the cost of a new refrigerator.  In addition, I was not eager to move the old refrigerator upstairs, and deliver a new one downstairs.  In this case, a repair was clearly the better way to solve the problem, and the refrigerator works well to this day.

The question of whether to repair or replace something comes up often.  It always depends on the exact part that is broken, the availability of a replacement part, and whether the owner can repair it themselves, which will save on labor costs. The decision could involve a car repair, a computer, or something in the house such as an air conditioner, TV, or a vacuum.  Sometimes the cost of the repair is so high it approaches or exceeds the cost of a new item.  Sometimes the age of the item is such that additional repairs might well be expected, and the smarter move is to replace it now rather than to continue to invest in repairs.

When a person makes the decision to accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior, it is often because something in their life is broken, missing, or not working as it should.  Perhaps there is an addiction to something they cannot shake or control, or there is something that happened to them in the past that they cannot change. It might be a damaged relationship, or any of a number of other possibilities.  They may have tried to fix it themselves, but had no success.  Frustration may have led to actions that made the matter worse.  Out of desperation, the decision is made to turn it over to someone with the expertise to fix the problem–God.  Who better to get to fix the problem of a broken heart, a ruined life, or a crushed spirit than the one who created it?

When God comes into the broken situation, there is never the question of whether to repair or replace.  There is no budget or cost constraints.  Economics is never the issue.  There is no need for salvage or refurbished parts.  He does everything new, and He does it right.  Consider these ten things that become “new” when we invite Jesus into our lives to take control, and to correct the problems.

  1. We become a new man, or “born again”. As Jesus explained to Nicodemus, a member of the Jewish ruling council (John 3:1-21), we are born again spiritually when we come to Jesus, believe in Him, submit to His Lordship, and let His spirit dwell in our hearts.  We enter into His kingdom with new life, new light, new truth, and new hope in life eternal.  2 Corinthians 5: 17 -“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”
  2. We receive a new heart and spirit. Ezekiel 36: 26, 28—“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone, and give you a heart of flesh.  You will be my people, and I will be your God.”  When we follow the One True God, we have a leader we can follow whole-heartedly.
  3. We receive a new container for this new spirit. The Bible refers to this as a new wineskin.  Matthew 9: 17 says—“Neither do men pour new wine [new spirit] into old wineskins.  If they do, the skins will burst, the wines will run out and the wineskins will be ruined.  No, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.” [Insert mine.]  God thinks of everything; there is no sense in pouring a new person into the old form of life.
  4. We start fresh on a new day. Lamentations 3: 22-23- “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail.  They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.”  God’s mercies are new and fresh every day.
  5. We start a new life. In Romans 6: 1-4, we read in part, “We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer…just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.”  We take our past to the grave, and rise again with Christ in a new life.
  6. We receive a new covenant promise from God. “For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance-now that He has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant.” (Hebrews 9:15).  Again, when we follow the One True God, we have a promise we can rely upon.
  7. We receive a new name or identity. At turning points in their lives, Abram became Abraham, Sarai became Sarah, Jacob became Israel, and Saul of Tarsus became the Apostle Paul.  Revelation 2:17- “To him who overcomes, I will give some of the hidden manna.  I will also give him a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to him who receives it.”  To God, names are important, as they give clues to the character, purpose or destiny of a person.  We know the name we were given by our parents at birth.  How much better it is to know the name God has given us as a result of our new birth.
  8. We receive a new tongue or language. This language becomes a direct and effective way to communicate (pray) with God.  While some controversy exists in the church today over this gift of tongues, the Bible is actually quite clear on the matter.  Acts Chapter 2 tells the story of the Day of Pentecost, as was foretold by the prophet Joel in Joel Chapter 2: 28-32.  Jesus spoke of the “new tongues” in Mark 16: 17-18 as just one of the new “signs” which would accompany those who believe.  I myself have experienced the new tongue.  I consider it a prayer language I use it to pray fervently, especially in complicated and overwhelming situations when I do not know exactly how or what to pray.  I think of it as praying directly through a powerful interpreter (Holy Spirit), who makes my translated prayer known before the throne of God.
  9. He makes all things new. God has no limitation on what He can do.  He is able to turn around any situation, and remove every obstacle.  He can even work unfortunate things in the past into our current and future good.  Isaiah 43:18-19—“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.  See, I am doing a new thing!  Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?  I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.”  He can bring water to dry desert, and cause wasteland to flourish.  Nothing is too difficult for Him.
  10. He will one day establish a new heaven and a new earth. In the Book of Revelation, John records seeing a new heaven and a new earth.  Chapter 21: 1-3—“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea.  I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.  And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Now the dwelling of God is with men, and He will live with them.  They will be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God.’”   This is the ultimate fulfillment of the verses in 2 and 9 above. He will continue to live in the hearts of men I suppose, but the time is coming when He literally will once again walk and live among men, just as He did originally with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, when everything was new.

This list is not intended to be exhaustive.  It is intended to encourage us to believe that when our lives have become unbearable because something is broken and not working well, God promises more than a repair of what has been damaged.  He has the unlimited power and resources to completely replace the problem with new components.  He does so much more than put a patch on the old problem and hope it holds for a while.  When a ruined life or a broken heart is involved, instead of continuing to ignore the problem and hoping it will get better, or trying to fix it ourselves, we need to turn back to God and ask for Jesus to take over in our lives.  He makes everything new.