Out with the Old, In with the New

2 Corinthians 5:17

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!

We are approaching a new year.  New beginnings.  Resolutions.  Moving on.   Restart.  Most of us can look back at 2015 and think of plenty of things we’d like to change.  To do over.  To have a second chance and a ‘re-do’!  But, time moves on anyway.  Despite our efforts to reverse it.  I can be guilty of dwelling on the past.  Not just 2015 but the long, long ago past.  There are times I find myself feeling terrible about things I may have done or said even 20 years ago! The evil one is sneaky like that, before you know it, you spent half the day feeling bad about something that you have long been forgiven of! Or, we feel guilty that our 2015 goals were not met and have been quickly forgotten.  So many of us throw in the towel on those new year’s resolutions the second we mess up. We cannot be effective if we are walking around dwelling on the past and feeling guilty.  It got me thinking….

We, traditionally, make new year’s resolutions.  Start that diet, quit smoking, start an exercise program, spend more quality time with the kids, volunteer more, read the bible more and on and on.  A new year is kind of symbolic of a fresh start.  For me, I enjoy exercise but I am an emotional eater.  Especially, all things baked goods! I have been blessed with a mother that can bake like you wouldn’t believe.  Her chocolate cake with peanut butter icing is unreal.  I have no self control, unless I throw it in the garbage can.  And even then, I have actually considered eating the parts of the cake out of the garbage that weren’t touching anything! Hey, don’t judge, it is that good. My point is, I need a fresh start.  You know that ‘stressed’ spelled backwards is ‘desserts’, right? Coincidence? I don’t think so…But seriously, instead of getting stressed and finding myself in the pantry, I need to give it to God and move on with my day.  Thank God, He is the God of second chances…(and third, fourth…)

Whatever your challenge, there are many verses in the bible about new beginnings.

Like, Isaiah 43: 18-19, 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 desert.  The Lord is so good, he doesn’t want us to feel bad about our mistakes.  He forgives us and wants us to move on to great things he has planned for us…like streams in the desert! In Lamentations 3:22-23 it reads, Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.  Thank God his compassion is endless.  Can you imagine? We are so limited by our human-ness we cannot imagine love like that, but it’s true! And it’s new every morning! Not just New Year’s day.

So, whatever your resolution for 2016 is, attack it with confidence! You are loved by our God who is limitless and has boundless understanding and compassion on us.  So, when you backslide or when I have a little too much cake, we can go to our God of second chances and get a fresh start.  Enter 2016 knowing that you are loved without conditions, you are forgiven thanks to our savior and He has a plan for you! Have hope and let’s try to show others the mercy and grace we have been given! Happy New Year!

Dear Lord God, please forgive us for wasting time dwelling on the past when you have forgiven us and our sins are remembered no more. Be with us as we begin 2016, keep us safe, healthy and well.  Help us to remember the grace we have been shown and show it to others.  Help those of us who set goals for ourselves to have self control and honor you in all that we do.  Thank you for your blessings in 2015 and thank you for what you are planning for us in the new year. Amen

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