Sunday, 1 January 2012

New Year - New Life?

Through the LORD’s mercies we are not consumed,
Because His compassions fail not.
They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.
“ The LORD is my portion,” says my soul,

“ Therefore I hope in Him!”  
~Lamentations 3:22-24


At new year we often want to make a new start, to 'do things better'  - A New Improved Me!  But as a Christian I know deep down that the best new start ever is in Jesus; every morning, every moment is like a new beginning in Christ (even when we make awful mistakes).  I just want to share here a little of that hope that is within me.

God's plan
The most joyous aspect of the Christian life is the new life that Jesus gives us. Without Christ there is nothing but this world, there is no hope in the midst of suffering.  That is not God's plan for us, God's plan is to provide a beautiful future.

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. 
(Jeremiah 29:11)

Jesus given to us by God
To enter into God's ways we must be in agreement with His plan for us and His plan is Jesus.  Jesus, God's Son, was sent to save us.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 
(John 3:16)

This is being 'saved', (salvation from our sins which are all the things that keep us from peace and rest in God); entering into the plan for our lives that God has for us by believing in His Son Jesus Christ.

Given a new life: born again.  Dead to our old lives but alive in Christ.

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A new abundant life in Christ
Jesus came to give us life in abundance!

I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. 
(John 10:10[b])

In this new life the 'old things have passed away':

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 
(2 Corinthians 5:17)

This is being born again.  Born into a new life with Christ.

Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. 
(John 3:3)

Looking forward not back
Life in Jesus is a life of looking forward.  When we make a mistake, fall into sin or apathy we can turn back to God and He is merciful to forgive us (this is repentance, turning away from sin and back to God).  In Christ we can forget all that has happened in the past and move on into His glorious love.

Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 
(Philippians 3:13-14)

Life in Christ doesn't mean a pain-free life of hedonistic pleasure, but He is a rock during the storm, He gives strength to the weak, comfort for those who mourn, He is a friend when all others may seem to have left you, He brings joy amidst difficult circumstances, peace and rest in Him.

Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth,
Thy own dear presence to cheer and to guide;
Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,
Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!

Great is Thy faithfulness! Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see;
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided—
Great is Thy faithfulness," Lord, unto me!

from Great is Thy Faithfulness, Thomas O. Chisholm, 1923

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