I look at the New Year as a time to push the "reset" button. A time to sorta start over... a fresh new start!
It is a time to put all bad habits and the disarray of life behind me and begin again! I'm a New Year resolution maker. Many of my resolutions fall by the wayside before spring... but some have stuck and made major difference in my life.
I always feel hopeful at the beginning of the New Year...
God has a reset button for us too... a way to have a clean slate... a way to start fresh and new...
Just like a year of bad habits and bad choices can wreck our lives and leave it in a jumbled mess... so sin can severely damage our relationship with God and God's power in our lives!
And relationship is the very reason God made us! We were all created to have a deep, intimate and real relationship with the very God of the universe. A relationship so close that we would call him "ABBA" (Hebrew)... Daddy! He waits with open arms and heart for us to run to Him!
It is sin that chokes off this relationship and makes us blind to our heavenly Father... so blind we don't see His open arm of love!
Sin has always been our problem! Some of us don't even know the seriousness of sin! So, what is sin?
The Greek word for sin...hamartia... gives us a very useful picture of what sin really is! It means to "miss the mark"... literally!
Hamartia, is the idea of stepping up to shoot an arrow into the bulls-eye of a big round target... and that arrow totally "missing the mark". Sometimes we don't even want to hit the mark! We want to shoot the arrow in our own direction! This can be dangerous and the fall out often hurts others!
Our lives are the arrow and the bulls-eye is God's holiness. God made us to live holy lives. Lives that glorify who He is...lives that are like mirrors reflecting His great worth!
But sadly, the arrows of our lives so often... miss the mark. That is sin! Sin keeps us out of the LARGE bulls-eye of a relationship with God! It keeps us from so many of God's loving blessing and the great joy and peace we would have in our lives!
Whether you accept this truth or not... sin is sin! We don't have to believe this fact for it to be true.
We who believe in Jesus as the sacrifice that totally took away our sins and the sins of the whole world no longer have a problem of eternal destination because of sin. We are His children... we are in union with Him... we are heaven bound! Sin no longer has the power of eternal death over us!
But what sin does affect is our relationship right now... it weakens God's ability to work in our lives!
If you are like me, I need and want a strong relationship with God right here on earth! I want to be a channel of His blessings and love and power. I want my life to be BIG for Him!
When I sin and hurt my relationship with God I have a... sorta... reset button. A way to have a fresh start. I am very grateful about this because I need one!
1 John 1:9 says...
"If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."
Here is another... much longer... way of saying this...
If we talk to God and tell him about the ways we miss the mark AND acknowledge His better way... God will ALWAYS choose to forgive us! The consequences of repentance is always forgiveness!
The ancients had a wonderful picture for forgiveness. They said that God "remembers not our sins". Of course God cannot forget anything... ever! But it is the beautiful idea that God puts our sins behind His back and never looks at them...or acts on them. He will not credit our sin to our account.
God does this because of HIS character and not because of who we are. He is righteous... always does the perfect and right thing! And it is in His character to forgive us because He is merciful and loving.
1 John 1:9 says that God will cleanse us... He will scrub away all the mess of sin that clogs up our relationship... and GOD does this! We make the mess and He cleans it all up... He will scrub away everything that is unrighteous... not in right standing... or that stands in our way back to Him and an open, blessed relationship with Him!
That is how much God loves us and wants a relationship with us! He literally can't wait to set thing in order for us!
How could we not love a God that loves us this much? How can we not want to push the reset button and have a fresh start?
I might have to confess my daily sin and push the reset button many times a day... but here is the very remarkable thing... the more I recognize my sin and ask for forgiveness... the more God pours His light into my life and the better I can see sin!
The more I am made aware of sin, the more desire I have to avoid it. I want to do things God's way. It's the best way for my life!!!
I marvel at God's capacity to love and forgive. I tell you the truth... God is waiting...He is waiting for the permission to set things right. If we confess our sins with a sincere heart... He does the rest!
What a God we serve!!! Thank you, my Father!