I’ve been thinking a lot about the New Year. How for many of us it is as a clean slate. Leaving the past behind and looking for better things to come. We make resolutions or have a word or phrase for the new year to remind us how we will be different and better, in the upcoming days, weeks and months. But why wait for a new year to remind us about these things and why wait to get a fresh start. Did you know that EVERY single morning is like New Year’s Day with God?
We all love fresh starts. As a child, I loved the first day of school. I was sad to see summer end and my carefree life dissolve into a routine. But the joy of a clean start far outweighed anything else!
New bookbag, new notebooks, fresh pencils. There was something special to me about new pencils. Like all I needed was a fresh new pencil! It was a sign of starting over for me. Funny, how something so ordinary could be such a big memory of a fresh start!
I loved organizing my desk and doing homework made me feel almost giddy for the first week or so. Eventually, I carried my love for the first day into my adult life as a first grade teacher. I loved to see all those little fresh faces! I knew many of them would come to have a thirst for learning and I was eager to give them a taste! These were my babies and oh, how I would love them too.
I ended each day by giving my children the choice of a hug or a handshake at the door and told them that the day was over and tomorrow was a new day! We would shake our bodies as a sign of shaking off anything bad or unhappy that had happened that day and we put our hands over our hearts to remind us that we would treasure what we learned and the good that had happened that day.
The next morning I greeted my children at the door with a hug or a handshake and told them that today was a new day and they could decide how they would use it.
Even today September feels like a New Year to me!
I always say that God is a “more than” God. And as much as we anticipate a new year for a clean slate and a new start God avails a new DAY to us every day!
We don’t have to wait a whole year to have a new start! We wake up to a new start with God every morning!
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is thy faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22-23
Let’s break these versed down to get a glimpse at the picture of God’s mercy to us every morning!
First of all, what a comfort that God’s love for us never ceases. God IS love. Just think of that!!! His love is not selfish or conditional. He loves us with an everlasting love (Jere 33:3)!
Mercy is an amazing word in this verse. It is the Hebrew word CHECKED (pronounced k’hed-sed). It is a covenant word. A word for the people who know God and belong to Him. It is a word that is entwined within the cords that bind a close and intimate relationship. A beautiful word!!! Because of God’s unfailing love for us, He is continually kind and compassionate to us!
It is the idea of God from above extending His all-powerful and loving arm down into the pit of mankind’s mess and pulling us up to Him.
It is His fatherly love and kindness and favor to us.
Before I came to know Jesus and be a disciple I thought of God as a judgmental stern God. I was always waiting for Him to zap me for what I did wrong.I didn’t like Him very much. What a lie I believed! Yes, God does judge sin and evil and it is right for Him to do so. But God’s love us and His desire to have a close relationship with us is overwhelming. His eyes are upon us and His desire is for our best.
Lamentations tell us God’s mercies, His CHECKED, for us new every morning. In other words, God is there always with more than enough mercy to see us through anything that will happen that day! His mercy will never fail us. It is our job to grab the arm of God and cling to Him in our troubles. He will be sufficient! He will wrap us in His love and comfort! And His mercy will never fail us!
God is faithful to us because of His character. It is a moral attribute of God. It is how God deals with you and me. How God deals with us in loving kindness will NEVER change because it can’t. He will NEVER abandon us or stop loving us. No matter what we do or think. God’s faithfulness does not depend on our actions or behaviors. It depends on Him and His character! What a thought!
God’s love and mercy and loving kindness and grace do not depend on you. It’s His nature and the way He acts towards His children.
Now, listen carefully my friend! No matter who you are or what you have done God LOVES you! And He wants you to be His child, His own. There is not a place so low or a situation so bad that God’s arm cannot lovingly reach you and save you! Remember he is a “more than” God!
We all become a child of God through Jesus the Christ. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” We must put our lives into the nail-pierced hands of Jesus. He is the one who was crucified for your sins. He is the one who makes it possible for Lamentations 3:22-23 to fill your life!
What a wonderful way to start the New Year. Believe Jesus is the way to God your Father. Believe He died to wash you totally clean of the stain and the stench of sin. This is not only your New Year but your new life!
Then hold on to the true promise of God’s love and mercies for you that are new every day!
Every new school year was a clean slate and the looming promise of great things ahead. A time to start fresh! Every new year, for many, is like the first day of school!
But nothing compares to getting up each and every morning knowing that whatever happens God is there and I am loved and favored by Him. He is with me and I cling to His strong arm around me as I walk through my day. His love is a hug to me because I have shaken off the sin of my life and Jesus has taken it away! Every day is a new start!
What a gift! How about you? Open your eyes every morning with the confidence that today is new and God is there. Every day can be a New Year for you and me!
This week’s memorization verse:
THE STEADFAST LOVE OF THE LORD NEVER CEASES, HIS MERCIES NEVER COME TO AN END; THEY ARE NEW EVERY MORNING; GREAT IS THY FAITHFULNESS. Lamentation 3:22-23