Monday, 7 January 2013

Happy New Life

OK, it's not totally new, but new enough for me to still wish you a happy new year. But I have a couple of simple things to say that I hope will be useful to you and will make this a really happy new year.

Many people step into the new year with relief because 2012 wasn't kind to them. Maybe you move into 2013 trying to leave behind some major regrets. Perhaps there are some shameful things done in the past year that you want to forget. The problem is that there's nothing magical about midnight on 31st December. The sins of the past follow us into a new year. The Gospel of Christ offers a new start, no matter what time of year it is, and says that the past can be forgiven because of the death of Christ, and you can have new life because of the resurrection of Christ. By turning to the Lord Jesus for cleansing and salvation you can know the record of your sins completely cleared, and you can step into new life and peace with God.

People will soon find, if they haven't found already, that the only real difference between this year and last year is the calendar, nothing else. The shiny new year with all its potential and prospects is soon seen to be just like the past year. The excitement of 31st December and the enthusiasm of 1st January soon passes. However, the new life offered by God through the Lord Jesus Christ is entirely different. This is a life that never grows old or goes stale. Because God is infinite and inexhaustible the Christian life is always fresh and exciting.

This is something repeatedly emphasised in the book of Revelation. In this book the Lord Jesus is repeatedly called the Lamb. This is a reference to Him as the one who gave Himself as a sacrifice for sin. Notice He is never called the sheep! The point is our appreciation of Him will never get old. He is also called the Lamb "as it had been slain" (here), again showing us that the believer's appreciation of the cross will always be fresh. In heaven and throughout eternity the saved will never get over the wonder of Calvary. The heavenly city is called "the New Jerusalem", the eternal state is referred to as new heaven and new earth - this all shows that we will never tire or get bored of our surroundings.

There is nothing like this on earth - something that continually provides fresh wonder. Only God is big enough to fill the human heart and thrill the human heart forever. I pray this new year will see you enter into new life through faith in Christ.