“Whoever believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” — John 7:38
New Beginnings!, by Randall D. Kittle

Midnight on December 31 is the great dividing line between the years.  At the stroke of midnight, the old year shuffles off into retirement and the new year is born.  Suddenly, you have to discard your old calendars and change the year you write on checks and school papers. 

Yet, there is really a falseness to New Years.  You see, we are merely passing over an imaginary line. While it might seem like a new beginning that is fresh and loaded with potential and possibility — what has really changed with the twelve strokes of the clock that proclaim the new year has begun?  If your situation, obligations, attitudes, and struggles are unaltered, all you really have is a new day with more of the old.

A New Creation
But the hope of a fresh, new start can truly be found in Jesus Christ.  First of all, His finished work on the Cross can give you a new beginning.  Second Corinthians 5:17 tells us, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things pass away; behold, all things have become new.”  When you surrender your life to God, He gives you a brand-new start — all things become new.  When you’ve been born-again, you’re not just an improved, upgraded version of your old self.  Your sins are forgiven, your shame is forgotten, and a hope-filled future awaits you!  Jesus restores your relationship with God and replaces the sting of death with abundant life so that you can do more than survive … you can thrive! 

New Every Morning
But the good news gets even better.  This new life from the Lord is more than a one-time experience.  It is ongoing and unfolding. 

All of us make wrong choices in our lives, but our past words and deeds don’t have to define our future in God’s eyes.  With God, there is always a fresh start.  He has promised us in Lamentations 3:22-23, “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning.”  When we ask for His forgiveness, He wipes the slate clean and restores our relationship with Him and with others, for He has promised us that when we repent, He will “… forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9) and “… remember [our] sins no more” (Hebrews 8:12).  God’s forgiveness enables us to start each morning with a clean slate.

As Anne of Green Gables once hopefully exclaimed to Marilla (her stern-faced guardian), “Isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?”  That is how it is for every believer … every day is New Year’s Day!  We should rejoice in that thought: tomorrow is a new day — a new day in which we can start afresh by God’s grace.

Because Jesus Christ not only makes you and me a new creation but is also willing to give us a clean slate every day, this upcoming year can be filled with new and wonderful things.  Let us thank the Lord that He is the God of new beginnings … beginning today!

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