God starts new things (Isaiah 43:19). God wants us to always start afresh. A new future is unfolded when there is a new beginning. A forest without new buds no longer has future. A school without new students no longer has future. A nation without newborns no longer has future. The economy of nation without startups no longer has future. A business without new products no longer has future. A church that doesn’t win over new souls no longer has future. Starting afresh is not a choice but a necessity.
When God begins a new work, he chooses a new person. By choosing Abraham, God opened a new chapter of the history of salvation. When Moses died, God allowed the Israelites to conquer the land of Canaan by choosing Joshua as a new leader. Just as we experience, a new encounter creates new future. A new book provides new ideas. Traveling to new places provides new perspectives. Of course, new things are not always good. New things are not all good, but good things are good. If it is good and new, then it’s the ‘icing on the cake.’ Saying that something is the ‘icing on the cake’ signifies that ‘a good thing being added onto another good thing.’
We must continue to cultivate the old relationships. Old and good books must be read repeatedly. Old and good music is good to keep near us. We must learn from the good things of the past and be inspired from the classics. Antiquities sometimes come to us in a new and refreshing ways. God makes all things new. He makes the old new and makes things new by creating new creation. When a young man and woman meet and get married, they become bride and groom. They are the same people but have become bride and groom. A new encounter and a new beginning make them bride and groom. A groom means a freshly married man and a new husband. A bride has a same meaning. At the moment we first encounter Jesus, we become a new creation (2 Cor. 5:17). We are the same people but have been made new.
When we start anew, we must begin together with God. God is the Alpha and Omega. God is the beginning and the end. That is why we must start together with God. The future is full of hope when we start new things by receiving God’s grace and help. Biblical houses are built on the cornerstone. The cornerstone is the capstone that completes the building. The Bible tells us that Jesus is our cornerstone. When we start afresh with Jesus, the cornerstone, we can expect good results.
When we are starting anew, we must be very careful. Wisdom lies in being careful. God is adventurous, but not reckless. We must be able to find a fitting balance between being careful and being bold. Goethe said, “Once you have missed the first buttonhole you’ll never manage to button up.” We must button the first button well. There is an order to all things. Right beginnings beget right results, and wrong beginnings lead to wrong results.
When starting new, we must start small. A big tree began as a small seed. A great forest also began with a small tree. It’s natural to be small in the beginning. Even a big building begins with a single brick. No matter how long the journey may be it begins with a small first step. When starting afresh, it is good to start a little slow. What’s more important than speed is the direction. If being fixated on the speed causes you to go on a wrong direction, the result could be devastating. It is wise to gradually speed up the pace after setting the right direction. Please remember that we will grow tired easily when we move impatiently and hastily in the beginning.
When we start afresh, we must begin with the end in mind. A wise person is the one who begins with the end in mind. When we start something, we must be clear of our purpose. We must be mindful of the kind of result we want to see. Wise people are mindful of how they want their later years to be lived. They are mindful of how they will stand before God after leaving this world. They are mindful of what kind of good inheritance they want to leave behind at the last moment of their breath.
We are now waiting to have a groundbreaking worship ceremony for the new sanctuary. I want us to begin the construction of the new sanctuary together with God. I want us to begin careful. I want us to start not too hastily but also not too slowly. We need patience until the completion of the building. Let us participate in the construction of the new sanctuary as we quietly entreat before God. Thank you so much for all your love, efforts, and patience. Shalom!
Reverend Joshua Choon-Min Kang is the senior pastor of New Life Vision Church, located in Los Angeles. This is one of the weekly letters he writes to his congregation. For the original, visit www.nlvc.org.