You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. —Ephesians 4:22-24 NIV
My first new beginning happened when I was four years old. My mother was less than 24 hours away from giving birth to my little brother when I suddenly knew. I’d heard about Jesus in Sunday School. I learned more of Him every night as my parents read Bible stories to me and prayed for me. I knew in that little unexpected moment that I wanted to pray and give my life to Him. I told my mother and together we knelt, tiny child with kindest mother, and I told Jesus I wanted to be His. I still remember the joy of that moment.
Another new beginning in my life occurred after a church service when I was twelve. I walked the aisle and dedicated myself to full-time Christian service and was baptized. Oh, the sun shining on the baptismal pool when I came up out of the water was spine tingling. I remember the joy of that moment, too.
Then came harder new beginnings. Times I walked away. Ignored God’s voice. Chose wrong over right. Hid from Him who sees anyway. I’d limp back into the light, ashamed and sorrowful, asking for forgiveness and cleansing. And God, who is love and patience and who pours out grace and mercy, gathered me close. I’d nestle there, forgiven and loved, and wonder why it took me so long. Joy mixed with gratitude as I received an undeserved new beginning from my Savior.
There was that day in November of 1979 when I married my high school sweetheart, pledging my love and my faithfulness to him for the rest of our lives. A big and bold and huge new beginning. And the joy of finally being his, joined by God, as my favorite people watched. A great day!
So. As we enter 2020 and ponder new resolutions … can we just pause for a moment and be thankful that God blesses us—over and over—with new beginnings? He wipes the slate clean when we confess. He sets us back on our feet again. He gives us fresh, new starts. We begin a new year. We begin as a mother or father. We begin a new job. We begin to learn how to be a grandparent. And, one day, we will begin a journey prompted by old age or ill health that leads to the ultimate newness of Heaven. What a joyous new beginning that will be! All our lives, after that first great step of asking to be His, we will be blessed with fresh starts because of Who He is and how dearly He loves us. What a marvelous thought to carry with us into a brand new year!
Father God, as we enter a new year, we stop to thank You for Your patience and love for us. Thank You that You help us, as the Scripture says, “to put off [our] old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of [our] minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” Only You, Lord, can help us to be righteous and holy. Only You would forgive us again and again, enabling us to start over. Help us in this new year to embrace new beginnings and to put off all that hinders us from being the person You created us to be. We look to You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
You are loved,
Sweet Selah Ministries
To encourage a movement away from the belief that “busy is better”
and toward the truth that stillness and knowing God matter most—
and will be reflected in more effective work and service
To offer resources and retreats that help women pause (Selah)
and love God more deeply as they know Him more intimately (Sweet)
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