New Life In Christ

It’s been a while since I blogged, so here is a post I did for the local paper. I gotta get back into a routine…

By now you’ve heard his name. Very likely you’ve heard his voice as well. Ted Williams. The man with the golden voice. Early last week he was a homeless man in Columbus, Ohio asking for money. Now he is a national sensation. Once he was addicted to drugs and alcohol. Now he is recording commercials, doing numerous interviews and even has a job offer from the Cleveland Cavaliers.

We like these kinds of stories, don’t we? How many of us haven’t dreamed of that big break that will give us everything we always wanted? We celebrate the stories of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition and possibly even believe, if given the chance, we would be the next American Idol.
If we could just get that break. A fresh start.

Maybe a new year would bring that fresh start you wanted. As you watched the Times Square ball drop and counted down the final seconds of the year, you hoped that it would also close the book on past regrets. This next year would be different. It would bring a new sense of focus. A freshness and renewed vigor with which to approach life. New resolutions. It doesn’t take long though, before this year’s optimism turns into next year’s disappointments. As much as we may try, we can’t fix ourselves any more than a doctor can give himself heart surgery.

There is a way to have a fresh start though. It is totally outside of you. It is independent of your best efforts, meaning you can’t work for it. For a guy like me, who blows it all the time, that’s pretty encouraging. A new beginning is outside of any personal effort. That means that anyone can have this hope because it is not dependent on you. It is not something you achieve. The key to a new start is simply found here: Jesus.

The fact is, Jesus took upon himself the penalty for all the bad choices you made in 2010…and 2009…and 2008…on down. Not only that, but he took upon himself the penalty for all the bad choices you’ll make in 2011…and 2012…and 2013…on up. He lived a perfect life, something that neither of us can do. He died on the cross in our place and conquered death three days later. God, being holy, cannot overlook sin. He cannot let it slide by or pretend it’s not there. He provided a way in which our sin could be dealt with and we could be forgiven. God’s righteous anger on sin, your sin and mine, was taken by Jesus so that you could be forgiven. Jesus takes our sin and we in turn are credited with his righteousness.

2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” Here is your break. Here is your opportunity. Will you take it? Trust Jesus and celebrate more than just a new year. Celebrate new life.

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