2017, you're new. So am I.

I love new.

Anything that presents itself to me as untouched, pure, and fresh is an excitement to me.

A new morning with an untouched day laid before me, a new journal, a new phone, a new semester, a new assignment from class…

I love these things because I’ve been given a blank, clean slate to make anything I want out of them. They aren’t old enough to be tainted with mistakes, scribbled on, crossed out, broken, or scratched.

That’s also why I love new years. So hello to you, 2017.

But in the matter of a few weeks, God has taught me more about new than ever before.

“Put on your new nature, and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like him. In this new life, it doesn’t matter if you are a Jew or a Gentile, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbaric, uncivilized, slave, or free. Christ is all that matters, and he lives in all of us.” – Colossians 3:10-11

The best kind of new is one that Jesus creates. And boy, have I learned that recently. Because He gave me a new life, I am totally separated from all the sins I have committed or will commit in my lifetime. New in the Jesus sense isn’t a ticking time bomb. It isn’t waiting for me to mess it up, scratch it, stain it, or alter it. New is a permanent, forever kind of state.

It really doesn’t matter if it’s July 2017 or January 2017; we are still given the opportunity to live a new life every single day through Jesus. It does take quite a bit of faith; don’t be fooled. To live as if you’re a new person, completely flawless in God’s sight, takes courage – it’s not logical or natural to live like that! But if we understand that He took all of the broken, scratched, and stained parts of our lives in order to give us a brand new feeling, we truly can live that out every day.

I still love a new thing because I haven’t had a chance to mess it up yet; in my eyes, I haven’t been given enough time to make it permanently imperfect. But if that’s what I’m worried about as a Christian, then I am hugely missing the mark.

Welcome to a new year: two thousand and seventeen. Quite crazy.

Welcome, also, to living every day as a new person. You’re in a perpetual state of walking in newness. It’s kind of like every day is January 1, 2017.

One thing I would like to caution you with: Don’t make my same mistake of believing that you have to avoid messing up this new life that Jesus gives you. I used to live in fear every single day that I would make a mistake and that my new life would no longer be new.

That’s not how it works.

Read the second half of that verse in Colossians. “In this new life, it doesn’t matter if you are a Jew or a Gentile, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbaric, uncivilized, slave, or free. Christ is all that matters, and he lives in all of us.” Basically, in this new life, it doesn’t matter who you are or where you have been. Christ is all that matters. And what’s comforting and secure about that is this: Christ is always perfect. Christ has that continual glow of newness about him always. And that’s who lives in you.

So yep, you’ll mess up. But Christ is all that matters. Because He lives in you, you are seen through God’s eyes as flawless. “This includes you who were once far away from God. You were His enemies, separated from Him by your evil thoughts and actions. Yet now, He has reconciled you in Himself through the death of Christ in His physical body. As a result, He has brought you into His own presence, and You are holy and blameless as you stand before Him without a single fault. But you must continue to believe this truth and stand firmly in it.”  – Colossians 1:21-23

Cling to Him for new life. He’s not worried about your old self anymore, so neither should you.

We could all learn a thing or two from the simple and humble joy of a children’s character, Whinnie the Pooh.

“‘What day is it?’, asked Winnie the Pooh. ‘It’s today,’ squeaked Piglet. ‘My favorite day,’ said Pooh.”
A. A. Milne, The Adventures of Winnie the Pooh

Delight in God by making today your favorite day, for it’s a new day – and more than that, you can have new life.

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