Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Happy New Year…ummm Day!!

(submitted by Kerry Patton)
“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.”
Lamentations 3:22-23  

5, 4, 3, 2, 1… Happy New Year!!
There is something about a new start isn’t there?  In truth, there is no difference between December 31st and January 1st, save the tax implications and the fact that we are a whole day older.  It’s just another day!  And yet, we look forward to the New Year each year.  There’s something renewing and forgiving about marking off the old year and looking forward through the lens of a new one.  There are new possibilities. The struggles of last year: failures, mistakes…these can be left behind and allow us to cast forth our optimism that THIS year, it will all be different; even better!  So we eat our black-eyed peas, make our list of New Year’s Resolutions, and off we go!

We may even use the New Year as a line of demarcation for our spiritual lives.  “In 2015, I am going to be more dedicated to my Lord Jesus than last year!  I’m going to be more attentive to the scriptures, my prayer life, and I’m going to seek new ways to serve my fellow man in Jesus’ name.” And as we make such dedicated commitments, please know – there is nothing wrong with this!  In fact, we are encouraged to make course corrections and commitments to keep progressing, keep growing up in all aspects of our faith.  Right?

What I’d like to do though, is to turn your gaze to the reality that we have available to us opportunities to stop, draw a line in the sand and start over every single day!  We don’t need a New Year to roll around for us to effectively say – “Well, yesterday I really blew it…but today is a new day!  Lord, you make all things new!  Please forgive me where I fell and failed.  I receive your love and mercy and am moving forward.  This is a fresh start! 

I am so encouraged by Psalm 30:4-5 which reads: “Sing the praises of the Lord, you his faithful people; praise his holy name. 5 For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.” Oh there is such good news there! The anger of the Lord lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning. Indeed it is a new year, but praise God, it is a new day today!  Psalm 118:24 reminds us: “This is the day that the Lord has made.  Let us rejoice and be glad in it!”

Almighty God, you make all things new!  What a gift!  What a blessing!  Father, as we start anew in 2015, as we start anew this day and every day, grant us renewal.  Give us new vision and purpose.  And God, as you wash away yesterday and turn my gaze toward today, let me never abuse nor take your mercies for granted. But grant me a heart of true repentance, fill me again with your Holy Spirit, and allow me this day…and each day I live to serve and please you in all I do.  In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

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