Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Not SO New Year???

What is a Fresh Start?
Why is it that Simply adding a new number on the calenders makes the entire world think that they are made new?
It is only a number. It is only a year. It starts with a new day, just like any other day starts new.
Why do people think that Janruary 1st is such a significant day to change?
Lamentations 5 explains a "Fresh Start" in the Old Testament.
1-22 “Remember, God, all we’ve been through.
    Study our plight, the black mark we’ve made in history.
Our precious land has been given to outsiders,
    our homes to strangers.
Orphans we are, not a father in sight,
    and our mothers no better than widows.
We have to pay to drink our own water.
    Even our firewood comes at a price.
We’re nothing but slaves, bullied and bowed,
    worn out and without any rest.
We sold ourselves to Assyria and Egypt
    just to get something to eat.
Our parents sinned and are no more,
    and now we’re paying for the wrongs they did.
Slaves rule over us;
    there’s no escape from their grip.
We risk our lives to gather food
    in the bandit-infested desert.
Our skin has turned black as an oven,
    dried out like old leather from the famine.
Our wives were raped in the streets in Zion,
    and our virgins in the cities of Judah.
They hanged our princes by their hands,
    dishonored our elders.
Strapping young men were put to women’s work,
    mere boys forced to do men’s work.
The city gate is empty of wise elders.
    Music from the young is heard no more.
All the joy is gone from our hearts.
    Our dances have turned into dirges.
The crown of glory has toppled from our head.
    Woe! Woe! Would that we’d never sinned!
Because of all this we’re heartsick;
    we can’t see through the tears.
On Mount Zion, wrecked and ruined,
    jackals pace and prowl.
And yet, God, you’re sovereign still,
    your throne intact and eternal.
So why do you keep forgetting us?
    Why dump us and leave us like this?
Bring us back to you, God—we’re ready to come back.
    Give us a fresh start.
As it is, you’ve cruelly disowned us.
    You’ve been so very angry with us.”

This is the only "Fresh Start" that we should experience. Making a goal to run more often or loose 10 pounds is not a fresh start. Making a start to eat healthy, or spend more time with family is not a fresh start. Making an effort to be more financially stable and smart is not a fresh start. The only fresh start that which you are truly born again starts with Jesus Christ. 

A spiritual writer, Matthew Henery speaks about fresh starts in a similar way,
"If God by his grace renew our hearts, he will by his favour renew our days. Troubles may cause our hearts to be faint, and our eyes to be dim, but the way to the mercy-seat of our reconciled God is open. Let us, in all our trials, put our whole trust and confidence in his mercy; let us confess our sins, and pour out our hearts before him. Let us watch against repinings and despondency; for we surely know, that it shall be well in the end with all that trust in, fear, love, and serve the Lord."

So come January 1st, maybe think about adding to your resolution list a Jesus Centered goal to become closer to him. Live out that goal throughout your entire life. Don't just make it a two week, monthly, yearly goal. Because a life with Jesus is eternal and never ending.

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