A Fresh Start

To proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” Luke 4:19

In just a few short weeks, our world will celebrate the ending of 2011 and we will be celebrating the beginning of a new year, if the Lord wills.  One of the things that people often do at the end of a year, is to take inventory of their lives.  Often people will make New Year’s resolutions.  But as is often the case, 75% of us will not keep our resolutions.

If you do not believe me, think back to the first of this year and the resolutions you made.  How many of them have you kept?  The fact is, “It’s hard to make a change on our own.”

This morning, I completed my studies in the book of Leviticus, 24-27.  These chapters complete God’s instructions to Israel concerning how she was to conduct herself in the service of the Lord.   These chapters are rich with detail and with foreshadow’s of Christ.

For example, in chapter 25 we find instruction concerning the “Year of Jubilee.”  This was celebrated every 50 years in Israel.  This year was a time when those who had fallen in debt, sold homes,  and entered into servanthood would have the opportunity to be restored.  Dr R.C. Sproul comments, “They were given a fresh start.”

However, for most of these people, they would end up back in their same state in a few years.  The problem was, they could not on their own change their circumstances of life.   The fact is, we see in the law, in the regulations, and in the commandments man’s inability to live up to what God required.  Here is God’s commentary in Hebrews 8:4, “For they did not continue in my covenant.”  

The only way any person can have a fresh start is if he or she comes to Jesus.  “For I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more.”  Hebrews 8:12.  In Christ we have a fresh start!  This fresh start does not become stale nor does it stall during the race of our lives.  In Christ we are able to become finishers because He is the one who carries us to the finish line (Phil. 1:6).

You and I do not have to wait for the Year of Jubilee to have a fresh start.  We do not have to wait until January 1 to have a fresh start.  We can have it this very day, in Christ alone.

So, I encourage the discouraged, “This is a day of fresh start in Jesus name.”  I encourage the disheartened, “This is a day of hope because He will finish what He started in you.” Remember He is your source through it all, II Timothy 1:12.  Also I plead with you to share the message of the gospel with those around you.  They so need Jesus Christ.

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