Monday, August 10, 2009

New Beginnings

A new beginning. Today marks the first day of our daughter's senior year in high school. Seems like just yesterday we were opening boxes, taking out books and preparing to homeschool our girl for her very first year of school. Today, she will walk the halls of Old Suwanee Christian School, participating in the final classes she needs in order to graduate. The years have flown by. Pictures capturing each stage of her life grace our walls and shelves. There are pictures of her with her soccer team and with the North Atlanta Young Singers, countless school pictures and even some taken by professional photograpers. Each picture marks a specific point in her life.

Today marks a new beginning for me as well. The carefree, summer schedule is being replaced with a more structured schedule to meet the demands of a new school year. I'll take the time to re-evaluate my goals and objectives. I can eliminate time wasters and re-prioritize those things that are of eternal significance. There is something encouraging about the opportunity to begin again.

Salvation provides the ultimate opportunity for a person to have a new beginning. Paul puts it like this in 2 Corinthians 5:17, "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away;behold, all things are become new." (KJV) It doesn't end there. Once a part of His family, God is faithful to continually give each of His children opportunities to begin again.

Daily I make choices. Sometimes the choices are good ones, other times, I make bad choices. As I read Psalm 106 this morning, I was struck by the behavior of the children of Israel and by God's response. I could definitely see the similarity in my behavior and theirs. They began by praising the Lord for His goodness, but as the days passed, they forgot God and His works in their lives, and reverted back to complaining and lusting for material things. He chastized them for their sin and they would repent and remember Him once again. Unfortunately, this became a cycle that was repeated over and over throughout the generations of the children of Israel.

Even if we are God's children, each one of us still sins. First John 1:8 puts it best, "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us." God's grace and mercy toward us are evident in the very next verse of the same chapter, "9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." (KJV) He offers us complete forgiveness and a new beginning.

No matter what stage of life you're experiencing, you can choose a new beginning. With each sunrise, you have the opportunity to pattern your life after the One who gave you life. My heart's desire is to be an accurate reflection of my Father, but when I fail, I'm thankful that because of His grace, I can repent and begin again. Thank You, Lord, for new beginnings!

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