Recently, I was playing basketball in a community men’s league. These men get together for about 2 hours each Monday during the winter months to play on the hardwood. The games lasted 8 minutes each. At the end of each game the scoreboard was cleared of the points and another game started with 8 minutes on the clock. It was a fresh start. That was good for some of the teams playing to have a chance of winning! It also gave some of us time to catch our breath. New games are good.
Something new is not always good. For example in Exodus 1:8 the Bible says: “Now there arose up a new king over Egypt, which knew not Joseph.” This was not good for Joseph’s family. Joseph had already passed away leaving his people, by that time a nation, within a nation in the land of Goshen. This new Pharaoh did not know the history about Joseph and how he was such a help to the Egyptian people during his lifetime. The new king then put the Israelites into slavery. Something or someone new is not always good.
The Bible uses the term “new” in 138 verses. The Lord has much to say about this subject. Perhaps there is something new that He would like in your life in this coming New Year. Here are few good examples of “new.”
New songs are good. Psalm 33:3 encourages: “Sing unto him a new song; play skilfully with a loud noise.” And again in Psalm 40:3, “And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD.” Fresh, encouraging music should fill our homes and minds with reminders of God’s love, grace and mercy. The songs, hymns, and spiritual songs that you listen or sing should remind you of the new creature and the fresh work of Christ in your life.
Something that is new to you may have been around a while. Ecclesiastes 1:9-10 observes: “The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun. Is there any thing whereof it may be said, See, this is new? It hath been already of old time, which was before us.” On this point, it is good to note that we should not pour water on the fire of enthusiasm of a young person leaning something that is new to them. If it is old to you, avoid discouraging the excitement in another. We took our entire family to a basketball game for the first time. It was a new experience for each of our young children. They loved it! Basketball has been around for a while – but this college game setting was new to them. There is always a good time and place for edifying others.
A new you is here. In the most personal letter to the Corinthian church, Paul states in 2 Corinthians 5:17: “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” These believers had some trouble in their church of which Paul addressed in the Book of 1 Corinthians. By the time the second letter is sent, he is very encouraging and gives them, and us, this insightful verse. We are new creatures in Christ! They were sinning in the past in the church, in their families, and in their thinking, but they changed. This is one of the greatest truths Christianity offers – Christ can change our lives, from lives of sin to lives of sanctification and service to the Lord. You can be a “New You!” Many believers simply do not live in the Spirit and effectively do not live a new life. The Lord identifies them as “carnal” or worldly” Christians.” Instead of loving Jesus like they should, they are still in love with the world.
Salvation is more than “tuning over a new leaf.” Being saved is more than a fresh start. However, a believer who has backslidden or lived in sin for a while needs to embrace the new life that God makes available to him. This truth is for a Christian today – don’t live like the old you (lost in sin) live like the new you, a new creature in Jesus! Romans 8:2 describes this in saying: “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.” You have a new life “in” Jesus.
Perhaps a sin, addiction, or evil way of thinking dominated your life last year – it does not need to dominate your life in the New Year. If you are a Christian – old things are passed away. You are a new person. Don’t let a past defeat define you today. Ask forgiveness, repent of the sin, and by Gods’ grace – be the new you in the new year!
Decide today: Listen to good music. Encourage others. Be the new you in Jesus. Reset the game clock. Get a fresh start from God for daily living.