Youth News - January 2012
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January 2012
by Matt Kay

Peace, nothing broken, nothing missing, well-being, complete....

This is a good attempt at defining a very rich Hebrew word called Shalom. We typically translate it "peace," but as you can see, it means a whole lot more that what we might imagine. In fact, it could be that our understanding of shalom would help us incredibly in understanding that word we use called "peace".

Nothing broken? The reality is all kinds of things in our present world is broken. Broken families, broken promises, broken hearts, broken dreams... and the list goes on. We've got a world that is desperate for shalom, and thank God that we have a Prince of Peace who has got the power and the promise to truly heal what is broken in our world!

We are truly broken people, but Jesus’ body was broken for us so that our brokenness can be truly healed! Jesus' power over sin and evil was made known through His resurrection from the dead - a beautiful preview of God's ultimate healing of the brokenness in us and in this world (see Revelation 21). "Out with the old and in with the new!" This is the attitude with which the New Testament encourages us forward toward a life of shalom in Christ - starting now! Scripture says that "You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness." (Ephesians 5.22-24) The "old" self is born in sin and a broken tendency to distance itself from God, while the "new" self is born again, transformed from within, and being remade to be more and more like God by His grace!

All of this is a free gift made possible by His grace, and His grace comes through faith - through trusting Jesus! Have you put your trust in who He is and what He’s done for you? And if you have, what pieces of your "old self" are still hanging around that need to be thrown out? What part of the "new self" do you need to put on?

As we put aside an old year and embrace a new one, may you too put aside the kind of life that has no place in God’s Kingdom and embrace the life in Christ that will live on in eternity! May you embrace God’s shalom in this New Year!

- Matt Kay

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