We awoke yesterday to a Lord's Day that heralded the New Year — an opportunity for a fresh start on life and faith. Our age is not of consequence. We can neither erase our past nor live in it. Life and time march forward. We can choose to greet the New Year as a welcomed fresh beginning or we can yawn and monotonously trudge on in autopilot mode.

Deep within each of us, however, there is a yearning for fresh starts. That's why our games have a second half, a new inning, a back nine, and a fresh hand that is dealt. When things are going well, a new start gives us a chance to continue our streak. When things are not going well, a fresh start enables us to hit the reset or reboot switch and begin again ... with a new screen, a clean slate, and fresh start.

God provides us this fresh start because of his grace and steadfast love. He built into our lives new days, new weeks, new months, and new years. Each is an opportunity for a fresh start filled with new opportunities to escape the traps of the past and to find the love, joy, hope, and peace that his Holy Spirit longs to bring into our lives.

So it's a bright new shining year. What are you going to do with it? Where is God calling you to go in your life with this new start? What opportunities has he placed in your path for this new adventure? In what ways will you passionately serve him in the days ahead?

Many folks make New Year's resolutions ... then routinely break them. Experts say that these resolutions really hold sway over thoughts a mere three days or so. However, as believers in the risen and exalted Lord, we know that fresh starts can be forever. Transformation from one degree of glory to another can be a daily thing. (2 Corinthians 3:17-18) So let's not let this new start at a fresh beginning escape us. Prayerfully set your heart toward the work of the Lord and his future for you. Commit your ways to him and keep your eyes open for his glory in the days ahead.

Where is God calling you?

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. "The Lord is my portion," says my soul, "therefore I will hope in him." (Lamentations 3:22-24 NRS)