We all want fresh starts in the new year. Where we've ended 2008 struggling to get back in the black, we have a sense of getting back to even this first week of January. Even if we are still less than zero, there's a feeling, a sense, of potential for better things. Hope is a byproduct of newness. I'll be praying that God's plan to give you hope and future is realized for you in the new year (Jeremiah 29:11).
Nicodemus was part of an old sect. He had old ideas that kept him condemned in his old sin. He didn't come to Jesus looking for newness, necessarily, but Jesus knew he needed the new birth anyway. "No one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again," Jesus told him (John 3:5).
Spiritual newness is not achieved in the making of New Year's resolutions. Real "starting over" is not the result of giving up the hang-ups, hurts and habits of 2008. The New Birth is not achieved. The New Birth is a gift from God. Only God can cleanse the conscience. That reality compelled the writer of Hebrews to declare, "How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God" (Hebrews 9:14)!
Are you ready for a fresh start? Is your soul craving for a new beginning? It is time to let God give you a New Birth! That's Life at Work!