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by Dennis Crawford

    “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.” (John 3:3) “If anyone is in Christ he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come.” (II Corinthians 5:17)

    Every Thursday, out to the curb goes everything that’s recyclable—crushed aluminum cans, flattened cereal boxes, mashed milk jugs, newspapers and other assorted stuff. In Austin, Texas, recycling is an idea who’s time has come. The truck comes through our neighborhoods every week and picks up much of the stuff we used to toss mindlessly into the trash. It’s the right thing to do. As Christians we should do our part to be good managers of God’s creation.

    Almost everybody is into recycling, even fast food restuaraunts. Confidentially, I have this theory, and I hesitate to mention it—but I believe that rice cakes are actually recycled surplus Big Mac Styrofoam containers. But I’ll drop it right there. We don’t need another conspiracy theory.

God recycles people.
    Seriously, God was in the people-recycling business long before the word “recycle” hit the dictionary.

    We see this process best in the life and work of Jesus. Look at all the used-up, burned-out, wrecked lives he picked up off the trash heap and put back into circulation. There’s the adulterous woman in John 8, lepers, the demon-driven, and no-count tax collectors, to name a few. Jesus took people that everybody else (even their families) had written off, put them back on their feet, forgave them, cleaned them up and gave them new lives. He didn’t call conversion being “born again” for nothing. He was talking about the ultimate recycling.

    And now every time the Gospel is spoken Good News spreads—that God recycles people. As Christians, we can start the process everywhere we go. In fact we might see the people we know and work with in a different light if we could just imagine the word “recyclable” stamped on their foreheads.

    So let’s do our part—get the Good News out, recycle. Make our world a cleaner, better place in which to live.

    Dear Father, help us to see others through Jesus’ eyes. Help us to see that you can take sinners—real sinners—and recycle them. My we today reach out to one person with the Good News, that you can give everyone a fresh start, a new birth into your kingdom. In the name of the one who died to give everyone new life. Let it be so.


HEARTLIGHT(R) Magazine is a ministry of loving Christians and the Westover Hills church of Christ.
Edited by Phil Ware and Paul Lee.
Copyright © 1996-97, Heartlight, Inc., 8332 Mesa Drive, Austin, TX 78759.
Article copyright (c) 1998, Dennis Crawford. Used by permission.
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