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This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! 2 Corinthians 5:17

new yearA few days ago we began a brand new year. I remember growing up and thinking the year 2000 was a long way away and perhaps would never get here. Now, Y2K seems like a dream and many of our kids in high school have no idea what you are talking about when you mention it unless they remember something from a history class!

I don’t mean to sound like a ‘Debbie Downer’ but I always watch the New Years Eve festivities on TV with a bit of a smirk on my face. The airwaves are full of hope for the New Year. “All that happened in 2014 is behind us now, we can move on to better things.” (I actually heard that said in an interview.)

The reality is, many of the struggles each of us had on December 31, 2014 are still with us. There are concerns about the economy, world peace, health care, disease, ebola, terrorism and family/relational issues. And the worst part? No doubt some of your Christmas toys have already been broken or are the wrong size/color/style.

Wouldn’t it be nice if every day could be filled with the same hope and excitement of New Years? How much would you give to be able to put all the worries of 2014 behind you and really be able to leave them there?

There are some things we can’t let go of in a physical sense. However, there is a solution to the worries and concerns of the heart. If we are honest, when the heart is at peace, circumstances have little or no effect on our outlook on life.

In the book of 2 Corinthians the Apostle Paul makes a startling statement. When Jesus comes into our lives and invades our heart-felt emotions, we are made new. Not remodeled. Not reconditioned or reconstructed. NEW.

I was thinking of that verse the other day and a couple other verses about ‘newness’ came to mind. Lamentations 3:22-23 says, “The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning.”

We are made entirely new through personal faith in Jesus Christ. We receive the newness of God’s love every morning. The new hope and excitement of New Years Eve every day? Maybe not physically, but a heart centered on Jesus Christ can celebrate being ‘new’ every day of the year regardless of outside circumstances.

If you are looking for hope that transcends the physical, I encourage you to visit a house of worship where Word of God is spoken and the forgiveness of Jesus is lived out. Feeling the need to recharge of your emotional/spiritual batteries? Many Camps/Retreat Centers offer personal retreat areas or retreats and events designed to help you get refocused. Whatever situation you are in, realize that God’s love transcends the struggles of our physical lives. His love is new every morning, just as we are ‘new creations’ in Jesus Christ.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, as we enter this New Year of 2015 I’m in awe of so many things. Time and circumstances have no bearing on you. You know my past and my failures but are willing to make me a new creation. Your love for me is brand new, exciting, passionate every morning regardless of my mood. All I can say is thank you. I look forward to living with you over the next year. Amen.

Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22-23

Imagine for a moment your day starting like this.

You groggily reach over to hit the snooze ‘one more time’.  A few extra minutes will seem so good. As you do, you notice the room is filled with an eerie sort of a glow. You look over in the corner and notice a glowing shape sitting in the corner. No chair, it’s still sitting in the corner.

Even though you are only half awake and should be scared out of your wits, something you see in the face of this person not only keeps fear away, but peace and love flood your very soul. You’ve never seen an angel before, but you know this is no angel. This….is GOD!

Before you can speak, He does. “Good morning sunshine!” He says in a gentle, yet firm voice.

You stumble for words and the first words from your mouth you desperately wish you could pull back, but it’s too late. “How long have you been here?” What a stupid thing to ask God.

“I’ve always been here. Watching you all night long. Walking by your side during the day. Cherishing every moment we have together. But today I decided you needed a reminder that I’m real and I’m here.” He moves to the side of your bed and sits beside you, placing His hand gently on your shoulder. “I want you to know that I’ve got your day prepared for you. I’ve looked over every moment and know exactly what is going to happen. There will be some things that concern you, some that trouble you and there will be times that you even doubt my existence. But don’t worry. I’m not going anywhere and everything will work out EXACTLY as I have planned.

“Um, okay” You say as a sick feeling comes across your mind. “About yesterday….I didn’t mean to think those thoughts and I don’t know how I ended up on that website, and I never would have said those words if…”

He lifts your head so that you look Him square in the eyes. You have never seen love like this, or understanding, or compassion. “It’s okay. I know. We talked about this last night before you went to bed, remember? It’s a new day now. I love you. Now come on. You know how rush hour can be. We need to get going.”

A little farfetched? From a human standpoint maybe. But right in the middle of the book of Lamentations, a book that lives up to its name. A book full of sorrow and agony, there’s this little tidbit of truth, a gem sparking in the darkness. God loves you. Every night He watches you sleep. He walks with you throughout your day. He hears the words you speak, sees the sights you see, and is part of every thought that crosses your mind.

Regardless of where you take Him or what you let Him see or hear, or how often you completely forget about His presence, He is there watching, guarding and protecting. Every morning He longs for you to spend some time with Him. He loves you and His love starts out fresh, new and hot every day.

PRAYER: Father God, I praise you for the fact of your presence in my life. I worship you for the fact that you have gone on before me in everything that I do and that nothing in my day today, or any day, surprises you. Forgive me for some of the places I’ve taken you, the words I’ve let you hear or the thoughts you’ve been a part of. Thank you for your love. Help me to ‘see’ your presence throughout my day. Amen.

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