People like new things. If you don't believe me, look at the advertising around you. New product. New formula. New look. New smell. New taste. New and improved. Brand spanking new.

People love the smell of a new car. Most of us don't even know what that smell is. Some scientists say the chemicals that cause that smell are potentially harmful to us! Still we like to enjoy that aroma that says "New!" to our senses. People like it so much, in fact, that you can buy bottles of "New Car Smell" to spray in your not-so-new car, just so your nose can be deceived.

For some reason, we tend to like new years as well. There is a promise of a fresh beginning. We have a clean slate just waiting for us to reach out and make our mark. Or so it seems. At some point, however, we come to realize that turning a page on a calendar doesn't really change our lives. The problems that were there the year before don't magically disappear when the clock strikes 12 midnight on New Year's Eve. It's a new year, but it's the same old us, living the same old lives.

I want a new start. I don't want "New Life Smell" sprayed on my old life; I want a real new beginning. And I know where to find it. The apostle Paul wrote: "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come" (2 Corinthians 5:17). In another letter, he told the Christians in Rome: "We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life" (Romans 6:4). God doesn't merely spray a new smell on an old life. He lets us be born again, giving us a completely new life. The old has passed away; the new has come.

Those of us who are already in Christ can also get that new beginning. The apostle John wrote: "If we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin" (1 John 1:7). Jesus purifies me, wipes the slate clean, forgives my sin and lets me start all over. Continually. As long as I stay in contact with him.

This is the time of year when people wish one another a happy new year. Instead of that, I'd like to wish you a happy new life, new life in Christ. If you're not sure how to find that new life, write to me at or leave a comment on our blog at Let's celebrate together a happy new life!

(Expressed written consent must be obtained prior to republishing, retransmitting or otherwise reusing the content of this article. Contact us at