Maybe you’ve heard the saying, “Today is the first day of the rest of your life.” One of the truly great blessings showered upon us from our merciful God is the chance for a new beginning. The night darkness fades, the dawn appears, it’s a new day, a new chance, a new beginning! God has constructed the universe in a way which reminds us daily of his mercy, his forgiveness, his grace. “Because thy lovingkindness is better than life, My lips shall praise thee,” (Ps. 63:3).
Many a man has made a mess of his life in the gloomy night, only to awaken to a new hope in the pure light of morning. The new day calls him to clarity, to correction, to repentance. “Day unto day uttereth speech..restoring the soul.” He can be truly blessed if he realizes that God has given him a second chance, a new beginning.
Perhaps it’s time to begin living the Christian life. Man was not meant to live in error and confusion. God sent his son to pierce the darkness, to provide light and salvation. “I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in the darkness, but shall have the light of life,” (Jn. 8:12). Becoming a Christian is the greatest new beginning of them all. The filth of sin is shed for welcome cleanliness, the shackles are cast away, exchanged for true freedom. All of life is changed. The lies, the corruptions, the deceptions, the wasted years are gladly left behind. “The old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new,” (2 For. 5:17). If you have never obeyed the gospel of Christ, why not seize the chance for a new beginning? Shake off the death-grip of Satan, and act upon your faith in Jesus Christ! Having heard the gospel (Rom. 10:17), believe it (Jn. 8:24), repent of your sins (Lk. 13:3), confess your faith (Mt. 10:32), and be baptized for the remission of sins today (Acts 2:38)! Following these steps of obedience amounts to following in the footsteps of Jesus, (1 Pet. 2:21). They represent an alignment of our own will with that of God, and they place us in a right relationship with God.
Perhaps it’s time to begin being faithful again. You started the journey, you were faithful at first. But, like so many others, Satan has had his way with you. In the words of the apostle Paul, he has “bewitched you,” (Gal. 3:1). He has tricked you. You’re going to have to admit that he has gotten the better of you. No, it wasn’t that hypocritical member of the church, that uncaring so-and-so, or that person who stabbed you in the back—it was Satan. “For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places,” (Eph. 6:12). Perhaps you need to recall who the real enemy is, and stand up to him. Talk about a new beginning, it’s a whole new way of looking at things. A refocusing of life and what really matters. It’s going to take a lot of humility, but you can do it. Like Simon the sorcerer, you can “repent and pray” for God’s forgiveness, for a second chance (or a third). You can take hold of what is being offered to you by the grace of God: a new beginning!
Perhaps it’s time to really get serious about being a Christian. “The night is far spent, and the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light,” (Rom. 13:12). If you were accused of being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you? Or are you just dabbling with this Christianity thing? How much have you sacrificed, given up, contributed to the cause? Are you a serious Christian, totally committed to Christ and his church? Or is this sort of like a hobby for you? Just one of the social clubs to which you belong? You know, Jesus will not settle for second place in your life. “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness,” (Mt. 6:33). “If any man would come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me,” (Mt. 16:24). Sounds like more than just a casual affair, doesn’t it? Maybe it’s time we get serious about our commitment to Jesus Christ and his church.Maybe it’s time for a new beginning. What an amazing opportunity lies before us! What a blessing to be able to start afresh, to wash our face in the morning, and face a new day (or a new year). Each sunrise represents a new hope, a new chance. It’s like God in his mercy is saying, “I see you kind of messed that up, here’s another chance. Try to do better this time.” What are we going to do with the opportunities given to us? We need to recognize that they are not unending. God’s patience has a limit, (cf. 1 Pet. 3:20). One of these times it will be our last sunrise, our last new year, our last “new beginning.” Let’s all be sure we make the most of this new beginning!
-by Robert C. Veil, Jr.