Pastor’s January Blog

Another Fresh Start

 “See, I am doing a new thing!  Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?   – Isaiah 43:19

The older I get, the more I realize just how important getting a fresh start is.  It’s so easy for us to fall into old habits, familiar routines, and unhealthy patterns of behavior.  Let’s face it: Life can get stale at times.  We all need something fresh and new every now and then to keep life interesting and vibrant.  People try all kinds of things to “spice up” their lives.

Furthermore, sin also has a way of dragging us down and making us feel lethargic and bored.  It takes the joy out of life to the point that our jobs, work, and day-to-day lives can feel like drudgery.  John 10:10a says: “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy”.  The “thief” is a reference to the Enemy.  And, we all know how good the Enemy is at stealing our joy.

Thankfully, God knows all this too.  God knows how easy it is for us to get bored with life.  God knows how the Enemy is good at sapping our joy, energy, and strength.  God knows how quickly we get stuck in lifeless, boring routines and traditions.  Perhaps that’s why God created so many opportunities for us to be renewed along the course of any given year.

Consider all the opportunities over a single calendar year for people to experience and celebrate forgiveness, new life, rebirth, and resurrection.  There’s Lent which leads us to Easter.  Springtime which brings new life and growth.  Advent which leads to Christmas  and  the  birth  of the Christ-child.  Forgiveness  in Jesus Christ is available at any time of the year.  And, of course, the holiday we are now celebrating: New Years!  I believe these holidays and seasons are built in to the year by God as an opportunity for us to experience revitalization in Jesus Christ.

The Apostle Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 5:17: “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”  The Lord says through the prophet Isaiah, “See, I am doing a new thing!  Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?”  1 John 1:9 says: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”  And, Romans 6:4: “We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.”  Thankfully, God is in the business of renewing dreary lives!

So why not take this golden opportunity at the beginning of 2019 to examine your life and find the renewal and rebirth you so desperately long for?  Identify things that you would like to change, old habits to discard, new habits to begin, sins that need confessing, dreams that need to be resurrected.  God is giving us still another tremendous opportunity to start life afresh and anew again.  Would you take advantage of this time?

Personally, I’m hoping to make 2019 better than 2018.  I’m still in the process of formulating important resolutions, goals, and commitments.  It’s time to put the past behind me and press on toward the glorious life that God grants through Jesus Christ.  I’m tired of the old ways, old sins, old patterns.  It’s time to create some new and healthier habits.  And, I’m so glad for another opportunity to do so as we begin the new year!

Praise God for another fresh start!  God knows we need plenty of them as life can easily become dull and routine.  Yet, we long for the renewal only Jesus gives.  So, let’s take a look within, take a look upward to God, and bravely begin again!  It’s time to put the past behind & enter 2019 with new and godly resolutions!

Sincerely in Christ,

Pastor Dave Van Netten