Minister’s Forum: New year means new birth, new hope
The year 2007 has passed into eternity past. We feel relieved that we are freed from the perplexities and complexities of our day-to-day life. We have had blessings and joy, perhaps even grief, but we only remember the best that has happened.
I liken the new year as a slate that has been wiped clean. Our Heavenly Father in the Old Testament instituted the Day of Atonement – the word means covering. What did he cover? The sins of the Hebrew people. The blood of the animal sacrifice was sprinkled on the Mercy Seat. God’s presence was manifested to the High Priest. The sins of the children of Israel were forgiven for that year, and the slate was wiped clean.
You, too, can start the new year with a clean slate by turning your thoughts heavenward and asking God to forgive you of your transgressions against him. God asked for you to stop what you are doing and reason with him concerning your spiritual condition.
Isaiah 1:18 says, “Come now, and let us reason together, says the Lord, though your sins are like scarlet, they small be as white as snow. Though they be like crimson, they shall be as well. It was Jesus who said to Nicodemas, ‘Ye must be born from above.’ “
Nothing on this Earth can make you fit for the courts above. It’s out of your hands.
Epheisans 2:8-9 says, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is that gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.”
In II Corinthians 5:17, Paul the Apostle describes the new birth in these words: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation, old things have passed away; behold all things have become new.”
Turn your life over to Jesus Christ and let 2008 be the best year of your life. Without Christ as your savior, you face a hopeless end. With Christ, you can have endless hope. Next year at this time, I trust you can get on your knees and thank God for a life filled with joy and peace and companionship with one who loves you and gave his life for you.
– Thurston Ott is a minister-at-large.