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.
- 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!”
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.