[forthright] Renewal

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From: forthright@...
Date: 5 Jul 2003 05:01:03 -0000
  Forthright Magazine
  http://www.forthright.net
  Going straight to the Cross


  ----
  Investor seeks tired, worn-out souls for quick
  turn-around.
  ----

  COLUMN: Field Notes

  Renewal
  by Michael E. Brooks

     "But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew
     their strength; they shall mount up with
     wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be
     weary; and they shall walk, and not faint"
     (Isaiah 40:31).

     "Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though
     our outward man is perishing, yet the inward
     man is being renewed day by day"
     (2 Corinthians 4:16).

  Earlier this year I spent a few days in one of the
  tea growing areas of northeastern India. As we
  traveled through the tea gardens I noticed many
  barren fields, and dead tea shrubs. The local
  people told me that this portion of India is
  losing many tea estates and the once huge export
  business is decreasing. It seems that the industry
  was begun by the British during the colonial
  period and the tea plants are now more than 100
  years old. Production has fallen off, some plants
  are dying, and the industry is failing. Why not
  replant? Some are doing so, but most cannot. They
  lack the financial resources for such an
  investment.

  Does that not remind you of life? We begin with
  great energy and enthusiasm, full of innocence,
  and abounding with resources. But life's
  experience soon begins to age us, sin corrupts us,
  and we find ourselves aging, less productive, and
  dying.

  Can�t we just start over? Change bad habits, make
  new relationships, gain skills and attitudes that
  will revitalize us? Some do, at least partially,
  through job changes, education, and other self-
  help measures. But ultimately we all fail, because
  we simply lack the resources. We need help, an
  "investor," to give us the necessary ingredients
  to make the changes that are essential to
  profitable lives.

  Enter the Good News of God's intervention through
  Jesus. Renewal is His gift to us. What we cannot
  do for ourselves, what we cannot earn or pay for,
  He does by grace.

  "Not by works of righteousness which we have done,
  but according to His mercy He saved us, through
  the washing of regeneration and renewing of the
  Holy Spirit" (Titus 3:5).

  Forgiveness from sin, freedom from guilt, new
  purpose and worth -� all these are Christ�s gifts
  to us, available through simple obedient faith. He
  constantly renews us, equipping us for
  productivity and eternal joy. If we will "wait
  upon the Lord," He will give us strength.

  ----
  Yes, your editor did the wrong math on yesterday's
  editorial. We can't fix what we sent to you, but
  the online version is now correct. We think. We're
  still figuring ...
  ----

  You can help us get the word out. Here's how:
  http://forthright.antville.org/stories/340415/