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Renewal

April 24, 2013

The term “renewal” has been applied to a wide range of activities.

Renewal is the name for a role-playing game, a rock band, an album, a song, a movie, a type of parliamentary procedure, a magazine, and a brand of rechargeable alkaline batteries, among other things.

Urban renewal relates to the redevelopment of inner cities. Renewal theory is a branch of probability theory, the mathematical analysis of random acts. Renewal Judaism is a spiritual movement incorporating aspects of Hasidism into modern Judaism.

Within Christianity, the term “renewal” has two distinct meanings. Traditionally, renewal has been used as a synonym for sanctification, the process by which we are transformed into the image of Christ. Recently, renewal has been used to designate the emerging church.

Justifiable criticism can be directed at the institutional church, and legitimate concern expressed for outreach. However, the exchange of essential elements of Christian belief for mere popularity is not revival. Inclusiveness is no substitute for salvation – no matter how attractive the label.

“…[D]o not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day” (2 Cor. 4: 16).

Lord Jesus, we see the evil in the world and are discouraged by it. We confront the ignorance of the world but are, at times, overwhelmed. Beset from all sides, we struggle with conflicting demands on our time, with rejection and our own shortcomings, with the illness of loved ones, with financial worries, with loss.

Knowing the pain You endured for our sakes, we turn to You for comfort in affliction. Remind us that we are delivered to death not pointlessly, but that Your life may be manifest to the world. Remind us that through suffering we are being transformed.

Above all, remind us of Your love, Lord. May we, like Paul, declare that we are hard-pressed, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed for we are renewed by You daily.

Amen

READERS CAN FIND MY VIEWS ON ABUSE AND ABUSE-RELATED ISSUES AT ANNA WALDHERR A Voice Reclaimed, Surviving Child Abuse  http://www.avoicereclaimed

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