Those who know me best know I love this time of the year. A new year brings new goals, new dreams, and new prospects. As followers of Christ, we have the same opportunity every moment of our lives. No matter what we did ten minutes ago, no matter how badly we failed, we immediately get a brand new start thanks to the cleansing blood of Jesus. He is constantly making all things new (Revelation 21:5). If your life is as inconsistent as mine, this is tremendous news! We don’t have to wait an entire year to kick things off fresh. We can begin anew right here and right now.
Have you ever stopped to consider the power of Christ’s forgiveness? There aren’t many things in life where you get a “do-over”. While it’s true that once a moment has passed we have lost it forever, it is comforting to know that Jesus doesn’t give up on us because we blew an opportunity. He is infinitely patient and always forgiving. He is always willing to give us another opportunity to serve Him as long as we are truly seeking after Him. Serving God is not a one-time event, but rather a life-long string of chances to glorify Him.
While in our minds we might see a list of all our failures and missed opportunities, Jesus patiently waits with a clean slate on which to write how much He loves us. Every new moment is surrounded by His love for us. Christ wants nothing more than to see us become the person He created us to be. He roots for you every second of your life. He is your greatest cheerleader and constant companion. Because of this, our greatest goal should be to honor Him and in some small way thank Him for His infinite love and forgiveness.
What will you do with your clean slate this year? How will you serve Him better? In what new ways will you bring Him glory? If you’re a goal-setter like me, your goals should start with how you will grow in God and detail how you will seek to serve Him. I would argue that every goal you have should in some way relate to how it furthers the Kingdom of God. If you aspire to earn more money or achieve a certain status, make certain you know how you will exploit those things to glorify God and empower those less fortunate than yourself.
Don’t stumble into the New Year without a plan. You were created for a purpose, not for some sort of random wandering. God’s plans are always specific, not a collection of vague generalities. He has blessed us with grace, forgiveness, love, and a unique purpose for our lives. What will we do with those gifts? Don’t let failure get you down; dust yourself off, get up, and serve Him again. There are few gifts as great and full of possibilities as a clean slate. What will you do with yours?