The Standard January 1, 2020
Are you one of those people who loves getting a new daily planner or a new calendar? As a child did you enjoy opening a fresh box of crayons? Do you get excited about the prospect of new beginnings or a new year? At one time or another most of us have been relieved at the idea of having a new start or beginning with a clean slate. With God these new beginnings certainly are not limited to January 1 nor are they reserved for once in a lifetime. Someone needing redemption puts their faith in Christ the initial time and is immediately justified by grace, but that person will have other occasions throughout a lifetime to approach God seeking forgiveness and sometimes even a fresh restart.
Scripture is full of encouraging passages detailing how God makes all things new.
“This is what the Lord says – he who made a way through the sea, a path through the mighty waters, who drew out the chariots and horses, the army and reinforcements together, and they lay there, never to rise again, extinguished, snuffed out like a wick: ‘Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.’” (Isaiah 43:16-19)
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” (2 Corinthians 5:17)
“Then I saw ‘a new heaven and a new earth,’ for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.’ He who was seated on the throne said, ‘I am making everything new!’” (Revelations 21:1-5a)
New planners, new calendars and other new material possessions are nice, but they can’t compare to a heart made new by God’s forgiveness and grace which are freely accessible through Jesus Christ.
G.K. Chesterton, an English lay theologian wrote in the early 1900s, “The object of a New Year is not that we should have a new year. It is that we should have a new soul.”