You don’t need a New Year to make a new start, but there is something cleansing, refreshing, and hopeful about the change of the calendar year. A new year presents a clean slate, a fresh palette, and a blank page. New dreams and possibilities dance playfully before our eyes. There are new moments waiting to be lived, new roads to be explored, and expanded heights for us to reach.
While the temperature in many parts of the world registers a deep chill, our blood boils nonetheless with warm vigor and boiling dreams. These are days that must be more than lived, they must be tasted, held, and molded to form new possibilities. I love a new beginning. It reminds me of what Christ did for each of us when He laid down His life so we might experience a new and better life of our own.
When we welcome Jesus into our lives, everything changes. The slate is washed clean with the blood He shed on the cross. We are no longer held to what was before. A new beginning awaits us. Our eyes are opened to possibilities of which we had never dreamed. We can now live the life we were meticulously designed to live. Equipped with God’s power and love, we can carry out the mission for which we were uniquely crafted. It is the ultimate new beginning. You don’t need a New Year for a new beginning. You only need Jesus.
The only trouble with a new beginning in the physical realm is, exciting as it may be, we are still the same person we have always been. A New Year certainly does not transform who we are overnight. We aren’t suddenly more disciplined, more proactive, or less lazy. It’s still the same old you and the same old me. We will be the same person at the end of the year as we are right now, except for the changes we make between now and then. If you want to change the ending, change how you begin. Someone once said, “You don’t determine your future. You determine your habits and your habits determine your future.” What habits you keep, begin, or discard is what will determine who you are a year from now. They will determine if you squandered away your new beginning or not.
Nothing will be more important this year than what you choose to do with Jesus. No new beginning is worth the undertaking if it’s not centered on Christ. The best new beginning is to make Him Lord of your life. If you’ve never made such a commitment, why wait? It is the only decision you are guaranteed to never regret. If you need help understanding how to do this, write to me. What new habits will you put in place to become the person He wants you to be a year from now? What habits need to go? Determine now who you want to become, and establish the habits and patterns in your life to take you there.
Right now, you can make a new beginning. Pray every day for our persecuted brothers and sisters around the world, for those without Christ both here and abroad. Pray for the unreached people groups, for this to be the year they hear the gospel. Pray for your neighbors, co-workers, and family. Read God’s Word every day. Study His Word as often as you can; nothing else you do will yield a more significant change in your life. Take time to be still and rest in His presence. Reflect on everything He has done and will do. Praise and worship Him for His love, His sacrifice, and His desire to be with you. Make this more than a new beginning. Make it the start of a life-long quest to draw closer to Jesus.