At the beginning of every New Year, many make resolutions that they aim to keep throughout the year. Decisions to make them healthier, fitter, more organized, etc.
In the classic 80s song “New Attitude“, Patti LaBelle sings of starting a new beginning with a new attitude “from [her] head to [her] shoes.” Every time I hear that song, it brings to mind a crabby lady in need of a personality overhaul.
But what about a new beginning in Christ?
At any time of the year?
Paul in the Bible received a new beginning – a “start over”, if you will. A harsh man who made it his life’s goal to persecute Christians, Paul was the furthest thing from one who could be used effectively by God. Wasn’t he?
On the contrary. God used Paul in a mighty way. After Paul’s conversion, he was one of the greatest apostles who ever lived. He endured beatings and spent much time in prison for the sake of the Gospel.
Could you be used for God’s Kingdom?
Probably not if you have a “checkered” past, right? If you’ve done things you’re not proud of, sinned in ways you don’t care to admit, you certainly can’t be used. And definitely, God isn’t going to forgive you for all of those things you did. After all, we’re not talking “minor” sins here.
Again, on the contrary.
God can and will use you, no matter what you have done or who you have been.
We serve a God who is One of second chances, and third chances, and fourth chances. Jesus took all of our sins, past and present, upon Himself when He went to the Cross. Your new beginning means your dry erase board is wiped clean from all of the junk that once cluttered it.
So how can you have a new beginning?
Commit your life to Him. If you have not made Jesus the Lord and Savior of your life, that is the first step.
After you have made a decision for Christ, you are forgiven. You have a new beginning. You also have eternal life and will spend eternity with Him. Nothing can ever take you from His hand (John 10:28). But it doesn’t stop there. Find a Bible-based church where the pastor digs into the Word and preaches it each week. Find a mature Christian to mentor you in your walk.
Spend time in the Bible. The Old Testament is wonderful, and I would highly recommend reading it, but as a new believer, the best place to start is in the New Testament in the Book of John.
Turn your eyes toward Him. Listen and watch things that aren’t contrary to your new faith.
Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you (James 4:8).
This year, spend time in prayer to dedicate your life to a new beginning for Christ. As 2 Corinthians 5:17 tells us, “the old is gone, the new is here.” And that is definitely something to celebrate!
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