Today marks the start of a new year. Not only a fresh monthly turn of the page but a whole brand-spankin’-new calendar! Many of us wake up today with fresh vows too – grateful to symbolically put the past behind us and start anew. This year, I will… This year, I will not… But if we’re like 92% of the fellow humans that we share planet earth with, we will fall far short of those goals – many within weeks. It’s just too daunting. We want perfection. 10/10. A+. Top of the class. We don’t cut ourselves slack. We don’t allow for the inevitable “human being factor” that is selfish and prideful and wants what it wants when it wants it.
Thanks for the pep talk, Michelle. Way to kick off 2017. Encouraging others must be your spiritual gift (insert sarcasm).
Before you lose heart, let me tell you the Good News! The Creator of the Universe has made a way for us to experience that fresh start not just once a year but EVERY. SINGLE. DAY! He wants us to DAILY forget the short-comings of our past (even the stupid thing you said just last night) and move confidently into the future – the residence of the good and the better that we have the potential of being. His Word says (my emphasis added),
“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.”
Did you catch that? His mercies are new EVERY morning! Not just one day out of 365. Isn’t that awesome?! Isn’t it amazing to know that the Creator of the universe, the Keeper of every dream and plan, the One who holds your very breath in the palm of His hands…starts every day fresh? There is no limit to His mercy. There is no shortage of His forgiveness. There is no expiration date on His love.
And I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again (starting with encouraging myself – again, my emphasis added), remember the words of Paul,
“Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. Only let us hold true to what we have attained.”
Philippians 3: 12-16
Every day is the day for fresh starts. To be more than you were yesterday. To love more. To forgive more. To share more. To show mercy and grace more. To humble yourself more. Every day is also a day where the God who holds your very life in His hands – the God who is your greatest cheerleader and wants to see you live in fullness to not only the high standard that He has set for you as His representative on planet earth but of all that He has and dreams for you – cuts you immeasurable slack when you fall short. Isn’t that amazing?
Finally, let’s remember one last thing…God is not only about “every” day but He is about “today.” While we can have hope in tomorrow we are not promised it. We only have right now, this very moment, this very breath to live. Don’t waste it. Don’t assume you can wait. Don’t assume you have time. Do your very best to be who God wants you to be now. Today.
“For God says, “At just the right time, I heard you. On the day of salvation, I helped you.”
Indeed, the “right time” is now. Today is the day of salvation.”
2 Corinthians 6:2
TODAY, He forgives you. Will you forgive yourself?
TODAY, He challenges you to something greater. Will you meet that challenge?
Thank You for a new day to remember Your goodness and Your mercy. Thank You for the hope of tomorrow and all that it has the potential to be. Thank You for Your hand upon each one of us as we strive to forget the harsh and disappointing things of the past and push toward the future that You have called us to. Be with each one of us, Lord, as we go about our days. Gently discipline us in those things that are displeasing to You and nudge us toward those things that are Your better choice.