New Beginnings - First15 - December 27, 2017
As this year comes to a close, it’s vital that we take time to both reflect on what God has done and allow him to prepare us for what’s to come. A new year marks a fresh opportunity to center our lives around the goodness of God. I pray that as you begin looking toward what is to come you will make space to gain God’s perspective, ground your hopes and pursuits on his grace, and celebrate all that God has done and is doing. May your time with God this week be filled with the loving presence of your heavenly Father.
Scripture:“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. ‘The Lord is my portion,’ says my soul, ‘therefore I will hope in him.’” Lamentations 3:22-24
A new year marks a new beginning: a time for the children of God to reground themselves in the love of the Father. God loves to use new seasons to remind us of his desire to continually make us new. From winter to spring we see that which appeared dead burst forth into beautiful arrays of God’s glorious work. And God longs for the same fresh start in our lives as he does for his creation. He longs to make things new as the new year begins.
Lamentations 3:22-24 says, “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. ‘The Lord is my portion,’ says my soul, ‘therefore I will hope in him.’” We have hope in the steadfast love of God. His powerful love can make new all that needs restoration. God’s heart is to free you from that which weighs you down and robs you of the abundant life Jesus came to bring you.
With this year coming to a close and a new year fast approaching, it’s time for us to gain perspective on that which needs rebirth. Whatever sin has entangled you this year does not have to gain victory over you in the next. Whatever lie you’ve believed that’s wrecked your emotions, thoughts, and actions does not have to win the battle over your mind next year. Whatever wound or disappointment that has hurt you can be healed and reborn to empower you for that which is to come.
God’s heart is to meet you where you are today. He longs to meet you at your greatest point of weakness and pain and wrap you up in his love. He longs for you to know he is with you, for you, and will walk with you into newness of life. “His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning” (Lamentations 3:22-23). God has limitless, powerful grace for you today. Run to him with your sin. Run to him with your failures and struggles. Run to him with the pain of others’ words that he might speak his healing truth over you.
Your heavenly Father loves you and is for you. He has new beginnings in store for you. But just as a tree needs fresh sunlight, warmth, and rain to bear fruit again, you need the refreshing rain of God’s grace and the warmth of his steadfast love to be made new. You can’t do it on your own. You weren't made to do it on your own. All you need for a new beginning is wholly available in the arms of your loving Father. Open up your heart to him today and receive the newness of life he paid the highest price to give.
1. Meditate on God’s desire and ability to lead you to a new beginning. Reflect on his power over sin, his heart to comfort, and his ability to shepherd.
“For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” 2 Corinthians 5:21
“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” Psalm 147:3
“For the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd, and he will guide them to springs of living water, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.” Revelation 7:17
2. Where do you need a new beginning? What sin do you need freedom from? What wound do you need healed? Where do you need new life?
3. Run to God with your sin, pain, failures, and frustrations and open your heart to receive his powerful presence. Ask him to show you the path to victory over sin. Ask him to reveal his plan for healing your wounds. Rest in his loving arms today and allow his presence to be enough.
“Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.” James 1:12
“My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” Exodus 33:14
Oftentimes the road to a new beginning is wrought with a host of mistakes and defeats. But know that to continue on the path side by side with the Holy Spirit is a victory in itself. Don’t give up on new life. Seek the fullness of God’s goodness with all your might. Allow him to help you, forgive you, and strengthen you along the way. He will be faithful to shepherd you into all his wonderful plans. All you have to do is follow his leadership and enjoy his nearness. May you find comfort and hope in the powerful presence of your loving Father today.
Extended Reading: Psalm 23
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