Hi, this is Daniel from ForgivenFully.com, sharing with you the exclamation point of God’s forgiveness.
A new year, a fresh start. What is it about turning a page on a calendar that fills us with optimism and hope? We feel the same with other milestones such as birthdays, graduations, weddings. Whether moving into a new year or onto a new phase of life, there is something invigorating about a fresh start. I suppose hope springs from the thought that the future is ahead of me; anything can happen, anything is possible. And I suppose the optimism is that today can be different, this year can be different, this phase of life can be different…I can be different.
The truth is that a fresh start is appealing because we realize that we’ve made mistakes, we have regrets, we haven’t lived up to our ideals. But then the calendar flips to a new year, or we pass another mile marker in life, and aaaahhhh, a fresh start, new possibilities! But only a short way into the new year or past the latest milestone, how fresh is that fresh start? Does the flip of a page on a calendar or the passing of a milestone change who I am at my core? There’s a song that laments this. It says, ‘I could move way in, I could move way out, I could move all the way to Cairo; but someone would be there, someone that I know too well. I wanna change my mind, wanna change my heart, I just need some relief! But I know that it just won’t come, that is, as long as I’m myself.’ This is what the Apostle Paul from the Bible is expressing when he writes, “I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature.” (Romans 7:18)
No, real change will not come from the flip of a calendar or the passing of a milestone. And it will not come from some drive or determination within you. At least not the kind of change that I’m talking about. Do you want a lasting change, a real change, one that is life-giving, life-shaping? Then believe the good news: Through Jesus, the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you! Through faith in that good news and the God who stands behind it, you have a very real change – a change in status and identity before God. It’s described this way: “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come.” (II Corinthians 5:17) And no matter how you may have stumbled today, God’s promise is that when you flip the page to tomorrow, it will always read, ‘In Christ, you are a new creation.’ …This is what it means to be forgiven fully in Jesus!
Thank you for your time, and may God bless you with what you heard here today at ForgivenFully.com.
The song "Empires" is via FreeMusicArchive.com.
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Christ Our Redeemer Lutheran Church
Daniel is the Staff Minister at Christ Our Redeemer Lutheran Church, El Paso TX.