Happy New Year! I first started writing these devotions at the end of 1999. It was a time of concern about something called “Y2K.” Remember that? For those of you who may not be old enough to remember, there were widespread concerns that at the turn of the century, all computers would shut down and things that were computer-related would also shut down. Planes would fall out of the sky; the power grid would turn itself off; people would be without food and drinking water. A whole industry emerged, warning people and teaching them how to prepare for the coming disaster. At that time I sensed God urging me to begin a morning email devotional and so I did, but I never thought I would still be doing it 24 years later! Today’s passage is the one I used that first morning; let’s listen to it this morning:
If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old things have passed away; behold, the new has come. (2 Cor. 5:17)
I have always loved this passage. It offers real hope for each and every one of us who is “in Christ.” I also like the version from The Message: “Anyone united with the Messiah gets a fresh start, is created new. The old life is gone; a new life emerges! Look at it!” As we begin this New Year, we all get a fresh start in a sense, but the message of today’s passage is that we get a fresh start and are “created new” when we are united with Christ the Messiah. At the end of the verse, Paul exclaims, “Look at it!” Wow! Isn’t that great? I often feel I need a fresh start. I sometimes get stuck in certain patterns of living and when I do, I have to take a step back, take a look at the things I’m doing, repent of my waywardness, and make changes. Maybe at the beginning of this New Year you need to do that, too. Jesus has delivered you from the power of sin and its eternal consequences, and has given you new life. He’s giving you another opportunity for a fresh start today.
Take a few moments, then ponder how the grace and mercy of Jesus Christ has worked out in your life. Remember, His loving kindness endures forever…Behold, the new has come! Look at it!