April 29, 2021

New Beginnings

Moses implored the Lord his God, and said, “O Lord... turn from your fierce wrath; change your mind and do not bring disaster on your people."
Exodus 32:11-12
How many of us have ever backslidden and given up? For example, I might make a new year's resolution to cut down on sweets. But when on January 2 I scarf down six donuts, I simply give up and consider myself a failure. 

For some reason, humans need the formality of new beginnings, and this has made its way into the Protestant psyche. Churches used to hold revivals; people would go to the front of the church and declare their repentance before the community. Some would show their renewal in the way they lived; many (probably most) would quickly backslide and their conversion would be forgotten like a new year's resolution on January 2.

This, of course, is not a biblical viewpoint. In Christ, every moment is new. We need not await New Year's Day or the arrival of a fire-and-brimstone evangelist to "get right" with God. Christ is Immanuel, God-with-us. Thus, God's forgiving presence never leaves us. Renewal is barely a thought away for us who are in Christ, for Christ is also in us.

If anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.
 1 John 2:1
Prayer after thinking about today's devotion:
Help me, Lord, to feel your Son's presence within me, that I may turn to him for forgiveness. And may this continual renewal manifest itself in a life lived in love for you and in service to my neighbor in Jesus' Name.
✙ 
After your own thanksgivings & petitions, close with the Lord's Prayer.
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