Devotion for January 1, 2024

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” (2 Corinthians 5:17)

Have you ever wished that you could have a do-over? Or maybe that you could turn back time and start over? Regret is one of the worst feelings in the world. And most of us, if we were honest, would admit to having regrets over past actions and mistakes.

What does Paul mean when he says, “the old has gone, and the new has come?” What is “old”? The old life, the lost life, the condemned life, the life that was separated from God has passed away. “Passed away” here is used most commonly as a reference to time passing. Just like time passes and is gone, never to come again, so is the old life without Christ once we are born again. This old life was full of guilt, shame, pride, selfishness, and condemnation … and was destined for the wrath of God.

So what does Paul mean by “new”? The meaning of this word is just wonderful! It means, “unused or unworn.” We don’t receive a recycled life in Christ. We receive a brand new life! It’s as if the old life never existed at all. This is good news!

2 Corinthians 5:17 is a wonderful reminder of the newness that we have in Christ. God’s grace is bigger than our regrets. And even though the consequences of past mistakes may linger, the old has gone and the new has come. While this verse is directly related to the one-time gift of salvation, God’s grace is certainly also experienced daily. Lamentations 3:23 tells us that God’s mercies are new every morning. His grace and mercy are new and fresh every day.

This gives us reason for great joy. There is no reason to look back and regret. In Christ, we have been given the ultimate do-over. Each day is a gift, a new opportunity to live a life that pleases God in His strength, not our own. Are you carrying the burden of regret? If so, lay it at the foot of the cross and embrace the newness of God’s great mercy for you today.

Prayer

Lord, I lay my regrets and failures at Your feet and welcome the new life You offer. Let Your grace, mercy and love flow through me each and every day as I celebrate my new life! In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Stay encouraged!

Pastor Mike

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