Psalm 103:12 (BBE)
12 As far as the east is from the west, so far has he put our sins from us.
Philippians 3:13-14 (AMP)
13 I do not consider, brethren, that I have captured and made it my own [yet]; but one thing I do [it is my one aspiration]: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead,
14 I press on toward the goal to win the [supreme and heavenly] prize to which God in Christ Jesus is calling us upward.
Tradition has it that many on New Year’s day make resolutions, plans and goals that they have for the upcoming year. By making resolutions we admit that in the past we have not lived up to our expectations and desire to make a change for the upcoming year. We reflect on what we wanted to do the past year, and make a promise to ourselves and others that we will attempt to do better this coming year. Many make a resolution to diet or exercise, some may plan on being a better parent or spouse, some may plan to make a career change or seek higher education, some may wish to make major lifestyle changes or relocate to another place, whatever the goal, resolutions by nature, indicate that we are not 100% satisfied with were we are in life.
Paul made this sentiment clear when writing to the Philippians in chapter three. He was resolved to learn more about Christ and to become more like him even to the point of sharing in the sufferings of Christ being conformed to Christ even in death. Paul, although he was accomplished in society did not regard his social standing as anything to boast about but rather tossed that aside as garbage when he came to Christ. He valued a relationship with Christ to be of more value then any earthly gain or status. Paul wanted to be associated with Christ to such a degree that he would actually suffer and die like Christ because of his faith in Christ.
Paul’s resolution stands in stark contrast to today’s resolutions because the focus of Paul was on the here-after and not the here-and-now. Paul chose to aim for and attempt to imitate one who was greater than he. He wanted to be like Christ. Paul admitted that he had fallen far short of his lofty goals repeatedly, and yet he held onto the hope that there was going to be a new day, another opportunity to try again to reach his goal. He had set his heart on which way he wanted to go, and although he had been knocked off course numerous times, he brushed off the failures and continued onward and upward.
One of the greatest gifts of Christ is the gift of forgiveness, Jesus came to erase our pasts and give us a new future, a new hope, another chance to do better. Although many observe a new beginning once a year, Christ gives us a brand new start every morning. His faithfulness is renewed each day, his forgiveness wipes out our failures of the past and we are given a clean slate to try yet again. He erases our mistakes and casts them into the sea of forgetfulness and does not hold them up to us as a constant reminder nor torment us with all our weaknesses and shortcomings. Jesus loves us enough to wipe away all our failures giving us a new start each and every day.
So then why not take today and thank God for giving you another opportunity to get it right and then, like Paul, take aim at the higher calling and press toward the goal of being more like Christ today. Take it one day at a time and do not fret if you come up short because the Lord has a new day in store for you as the morning sun rises.
Psalm 118:24 (GW)
24 This is the day the LORD has made. Let’s rejoice and be glad today!
Happy new day!