We just finished up a Christmas teaching series in church called, Christmas Presence. Each week we’d “unwrap” a different gift- the Holy Spirit, Love, Joy, Peace, Hope, and to finish off, a Fresh Start. I never really thought of a fresh start as a gift, but like any other gift, it’s something we need to receive and accept.
Here’s what I mean… Has someone ever offered you something and you went, “Um, no thanks!” I think we’ve all been there at some point! Each of those things mentioned above are offered to us through Jesus, and it takes some action on our part to make them a part of our lives.
It’s the beginning of a brand new year, and the perfect time to think about what we want in the coming year. I’m not necessarily one for “resolutions”, but the new year is a great time to really evaluate my thought patterns, intentions, the way I spend my time, and most importantly, my relationship with Jesus.
There is a theme that can be the anchor for all these things, and that it forgiveness. Forgiveness for the ways I’ve let negative thoughts control my mind. Forgiveness for how I’ve let my priorities get out of whack. Forgiveness for how I spent more time on YouTube than in the Word. Forgiveness for when I don’t let Jesus work in my life and when I don’t share His love with others. This forgiveness starts with God’s love and forgiveness for me.
“In him we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” Colossians 1:14
Without Jesus and His death and resurrection, we have nothing. We can try to forgive ourselves, but without Him, we just run in circles. We will continue to mess up and make mistakes, but the peace that comes from knowing God’s right there by our side is what we need to get us through those moments.
Knowing and accepting that He picks us up each time we fall is the fresh start we all need. And once we accept this gift, the others- the Holy Spirit, Love, Joy, Peace, and Hope, will overflow out of us and into the lives of those around us.