Happy New, New Year!

December 31st is a special day to me. It means I have finished up one more year of life chocked full of love and blessings and family and friends. The Lord has been good to me in every sense of the word, and I can’t complain about a thing.
Oh, sure, I’ve had a lot of bumps and taken plenty of wallops in my time. But every good road has a clod now and then, so I’ll not complain of the ride because of it.
January 1st is a special day to me, too. It means I have stuck my foot into a new year, and, though only the good Lord knows how far I’ll make it, it gives even an old codger like me a chance to learn new things, spread around a little of my limited wisdom, and head a soul toward eternity together with God.
And that’s where I want to land today. I want you to make double- triple- quadruple-sure that your life is right with God today.
You may be a Christian who is not faithful to God’s call. You can make that right, here and now.
You may be a religious person following tradition because your parents or aunt or uncle did. Please know, my good friend, that you’re walking a dangerous trail. Throw away any teaching that denies, contradicts, or cancels out the commandment of God (Mark 7:1-13).
You may have no spiritual commitments at all. You may be what they call a seeker, or melon-thumper, but haven’t made up your mind yet. This is a perfect time to jump whole-hog into the life with Christ.
That means your next step is to put your faith and trust in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and follow him to the cross, by turning from sin to serve God, publicly acknowledging him as your Master, and plunging into a pool of water where he has said you will meet the blood that gives life. (See Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; Luke 24:46-47; Rom. 10:10; 1 Pet. 3:21.)
The writer of Hebrews pitied those poor Israelites who offered the same old sacrifices year after year and never got a clean bill of health. “But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year” (Heb. 10:3, NKJV).
God’s people today have a weekly reminder, nay, a daily reminder of the One Final Sacrifice that took care of all sin for all time. (Instead of remembering sin, they remember forgiveness!) But I find the new year a great time to celebrate as well, much like the old wino who took any little reason for another swig.
I’m swigging on the forgiveness of Christ, and I’ll take any little time marker or personal reason of yours or mine to celebrate. More than anything, I want to enlarge that celebration and include as many folk as I can. That means you, too.
So let’s hit January 1st, if the Lord lingers that long and you and I make it to the new year, as a special day given to the Lord, because we are saved by the blood of the Lamb. Make it right, make it sure, make it certain.
This is one thing we can’t afford to mess up.
Let’s make it a happy new, new year.

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A. A. Neale

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