“Repent therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus.” Acts 3:19-20
A brand new year often represents a chance to start anew. It is a time to focus on what lies ahead and not turn back to what we have put behind us. It feels good to give yourself a fresh start. It can be so invigorating, exciting and most of all: refreshing!
Have you ever walked into a classroom before and seen the writings left behind from a previous day on a dusty chalkboard or a colorful whiteboard? It has the look and feel of yesterday. Gazing upon it feels like trying to soften day-old bread. It feels so good to get out an eraser and wipe the slate clean. Now you can write upon it new ideas, new teachings, new pictures and new concepts.
When Jesus Christ died upon the cross, He wiped our slates clean. He erased all of our sins and made us each a new creation. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come” 2 Corinthians 5:17. Everything changes when Jesus Christ dwells in your heart. He takes out His broom and clears away the dusty cobwebs and wipes away the filthy mess. As with a home, this is a continual process. It is human nature to sin, so we are constantly a work in progress until Jesus calls us home to be in His presence and His kingdom forever. “Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” Philippians 1:6. Like a judge proclaiming “not guilty” despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, Jesus Christ has freed us and forgiven us forever from the bondage of sin and its consequences.
How does one go about receiving this kind of mercy and forgiveness? “If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved” Romans 10:9. It really is this simple, yet our pride, self idolatry and wickedness often stands in the way. There is no guarantee any of us will live to see tomorrow. We may not even live to see the remainder of today. All you have to do is read the headlines of any newspaper to see that this is true. What are you waiting for?
The Bible says, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts” Psalm 139:23. Perhaps you need a heart examination. Maybe it will reveal your need for a heart transplant. Let the Lord be the surgeon that gives you a new lease on life. Ask Jesus to replace your old rotting and diseased heart with His heart, which will never stop beating. Though your body will one day die, you will have eternal life! There is no real fountain of youth anywhere on Earth that can offer you this opportunity. Only through the blood of Jesus on the cross can you receive eternal life. Do not let Satan rob you of the great hope God freely gives us. “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” John 10:10. This thief is Satan and his demons. The Bible says, “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8. Do not let the devil keep hold of your heart! Give it to God so that you may experience the riches of His mercy and grace!
If you have not asked Jesus to give you a blank slate, then please consider praying the following prayer: “Dear God, I know that I am a sinner. I understand that the wages of sin is death. I have no power over my sin. I pledge to turn away from my sin and wicked ways. I ask your son, Jesus Christ, to come into my life and forgive me. Come into my life Lord Jesus. Thank you God for the gift of eternal life. Amen.”
Would you like to read more scripture about the blank slate God offers to us? Below are some verses upon which to meditate today. I pray the Lord will bless you. If you have already received Jesus Christ into your heart, then take a moment on this first day of the new year and thank Him for His mercy, forgiveness and great sacrifice on our behalf!
“I, I am he who blots out your transgressions for my own sake, and I will not remember your sins. Put me in remembrance; let us argue together; set forth your case, that you may be proved right.” Isaiah 43:25-26
“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Romans 8:1
“Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” Isaiah 43:18-19
“He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.” Ecclesiastes 3:11