As we begin the new year, we have the pleasure of leaving behind us previous hurts and mistakes (hopefully learning from them) and looking ahead to what sort of new life God has in store for us.
“Do not call to mind the former things,
Or ponder things of the past.
“Behold, I will do something new,
Now it will spring forth;
Will you not be aware of it?
I will even make a roadway in the wilderness,
Rivers in the desert.” Isaiah 43:18-19
God does not wish us to continue to dwell on our past mistakes, because He does not. “I, even I, am the one who wipes out your transgressions for My own sake, and I will not remember your sins.” Isaiah 43:25 Rather, He is focused upon what He is doing through the New Life He has planted within us.
Jesus’ charge to the woman caught in adultery, after forgiving her, was, “Go, and sin no more.” Warmed and grateful from Jesus’ self-invitation to his house, Zacchaeus vows to turn over a new life:
“Zaccheus stopped and said to the Lord, “Behold, Lord, half of my possessions I will give to the poor, and if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I will give back four times as much.” And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he, too, is a son of Abraham.” Luke 19:8-9
Our gratitude carries us along in its stream, propelling us into the new lifestyle and new values God places within us in the New Birth. Answering the criticism of His host, who was shocked that Jesus let a woman of low reputation wash his feet with perfume and her tears, said
“For this reason I say to you, her sins, which are many, have been forgiven, for she loved much; but he who is forgiven little, loves little.” Luke 7:47
Like her, let us begin this new year full of the eager anticipation, gratitude, and energy that forgiveness brings.
“Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.” Romans 12:1