Time for a Fresh Start

5736973-1000x50webHow did you start 2013? I started my year with a paintbrush. Our girls decided that this year for Christmas they wanted their bedrooms redecorated. This meant new colorful comforters, some fun decorations and a fresh coat of paint. My daughters picked bright colors for the walls of their rooms. My fun loving seven-year-old chose cotton candy pink. She also wanted to help paint. It took everything within me to let her paint in her own spunky way even though it meant she would be covered with paint and so would lots of others things. It turned out to be pretty fun–even with the carpet getting a bit of paint job too. When we finished, their rooms looked great. There is something about a fresh coat of paint that really makes a difference.

Its a new year. I love the new year. I know its only another day on the calendar, but for whatever reason it feels like a fresh coat of paint in my life. It motivates me to think about the possibilities of a new year. So, though I know its kind of all in my head, I harness the momentum of a new year in order to strive to be a more effective leader, a healthier person and a more devoted follower of Christ.

Ultimately, the idea of a fresh start is a biblical idea. Paul said, “there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” In another place Paul said, “Anyone who is in Christ is a new creation. The old has gone the new has come.” Finally, Paul says, “forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Jesus Christ took away our sin, guilt and shame. His sacrificial death on the cross brought grace, mercy and new beginnings. Our God is about fresh starts and second chances, so harness that truth this new year. Leave the past in the past and let God give you the strength to develop new habits in the future that will help you to grow.

Here are a few ways to do that.

1. Listen and Memorize. At Community Church we are going through the book of Philippians. For the next ten weeks, listen to Philippians every week. It will take only about 15 minutes on http://www.youversion.com. Philippians is chock full of great memory verses. Memorize a verse each week. Here is the first one of our series. “He who began a good work in you will carry it one to completion in Christ Jesus.” Phil. 1:6

2. Get around other believers. This week we talked about gospel partnerships. These are relationships that share the same perspective about people (our common brokeness), passion for each other and priorities for life. Join a small group of believers where you can grow in devotion to Christ. At Community Church small groups sign ups begin next week.


6 thoughts on “Time for a Fresh Start

  1. I love New Years because I love fresh starts. Last year my resolution was to have more fun. And I did. This year I resolve to go deeper in God. Hopefully that will happen in worship and I’m hoping you go there with me.

  2. I saw an article once about a woman who uses a one word theme for each year. I thought that was a good idea. It was to the point and easy to remember. So this year, using that example, I chose the word “health” that is my goal for the year better health. Unfortunately, I start out with a cold but thankfully I am getting over it quickly. Because of illness, taking down Christmas has been slow. I am the type of person that needs something to look forward to so as I take down Christmas I replace it with Valentines. I did manage to take down my basement snowmen bathroom and put up flower painting and spring type decorations. In spite of my cold to see my summer flower pictures and my flowery decorations back in the bathroom made me smile and realize I always have hope. Hope for Spring and hope in a new year.

  3. I like the one word idea for the New Year. My word is “rest.” This past year has been a year where rest has not come easy for me, and as a result it makes for a long day, lack of energy and unsettledness. This morning as I took a card from my “Bread Box of Scriptures” I had in my mind that my word for the year was going to be “peace,” and was sure that would be the words on my scripture card. It was not. I pulled one card out, and thought, no that is not the right scripture for today, so I pulled another out. The second card assured me that God knew what He was trying to say, and I needed to listen.
    1) “And he said, My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest.” Exodus 33:14
    2) “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28
    Last night when I couldn’t sleep again, I laid my hands on my head and prayed that God would calm the words in my head, bring peace to my soul, help me to wake up and feel refreshed, but most of all to go to sleep…He did that!
    So this is our prayer for those reading this today: O God of all comfort, bring quietness and calm to hearts worried about what the day may bring…Have a great day…and a WONDERFUL New Year!

    • Thank you Pam. That is a great reminder that God is the one who brings rest from our burdens. What a great testimony of how God answers our prayers. May 2013 be a year of comfort and joy for you and all.

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