The beginning of a year gives us a chance to start over. Like I said on Wednesday, we can get sluggish and out of sync during the holidays, and the start of a new year is like a fresh notebook with no wrinkled pages. Most years, I go into January with a deep breath and a lot of hope. It is almost as if a snow has fallen on my heart and cleansed it. I look into the new year and see a lot of possibilities!
The phrase “He makes all things new” kept coming to my mind as I was thinking about what to write for the new year. Steven Curtis Chapman wrote a song a few years back with this title. Below is the chorus and bridge:
You make all things new. You make all things new.
You redeem and You transform. You renew and You restore.
You make all things new. You make all things new,
And forever we will watch and worship You.
You turn winter into spring. You take every living thing,
And You breathe Your breath of life into it over and over again.
A Clean Slate and Heart
The hope I feel at the beginning of each new year… the clean slate… the empty page… reminds me of what God does to our hearts when we repent and receive His salvation. A familiar verse to many of us is 2 Corinthians 5:17 which says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” When we become aware of our sin (without Christ we are slaves to sin), cry out to God and repent, He makes us new. Though our physical bodies do not necessarily change, He changes our hearts. He creates a clean heart in us (Psalm 51:10). He cleanses us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9). He makes us new!
Even though we are no longer slaves to sin after God makes our hearts new, unfortunately we still sin. Thankfully, we have an advocate, Jesus, and we can receive forgiveness when we do sin.
A few years ago, I was burdened by a sin in my life. Though I had repeatedly asked for God’s forgiveness, I knew I needed to go to the person involved and ask for forgiveness. It tormented me because I did not want to confront the situation. However, God opened the door and gave me the grace to broach the topic and to ask for forgiveness from this person. I was amazed at how much grace I was given and how clean my heart was after obeying the Holy Spirit’s leading in my life. Suddenly, I had a spring in my step. My conscience was clear! I could pray! It was like a blanket of cleansing snow had fallen on my heart! (Isaiah 1:18)
Have You Been Made New?
The same God who spoke the world into existence can make you new. Have you felt the weight of your sin, repented, and put your faith and trust in Christ and what He did on the cross? We had no hope of salvation, but Christ, the only perfect, sinless sacrifice gave His life to satisfy the penalty for the sins of the world. Imagine for a moment that you were guilty of murder (hating anyone is murder in one’s heart) and the judge was about to sentence you to death, when someone you did not even know approached the bench and took the penalty for your heinous crime. We are all guilty of the commandments of God, but we can be cleansed… made new… and only because of Christ.
I challenge you as the new year unfolds to dust off your Bible and begin reading. Even if you are struggling to believe or even simply do not believe what it says. Read it anyway. See how God worked on behalf of his people. See His wonders. The more I read the Bible, the more convinced I am that it could not have been inspired by a mere mortal. It is too perfect.
If you have questions about this, feel free to contact us. We would love to talk to you about Christ’s sacrifice and how God can make you new in this new year. God bless you and grace be with you!
“The Lord bless you and keep you;
The Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you;
The Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.” – Numbers 6:24-26 (ESV)
Have you been made new?