“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning.”Lamentations 3:22-23 –

A new year ushers in a time for new beginnings. The year ahead is an unopened book. Within its pages are new opportunities, experiences and discoveries. As we open it, we are filled with anticipation and hope.

Our God is a God of new beginnings. His mercies are new every morning. He is ever accepting, ever forgiving, ever blessing. Our Lord desires the absolute best for us. He longs to pick us up when we fall… heal us when we hurt… forgive us when we repent… and love us always.

New beginnings are best opened with closure on the past. In the presence of our loving Lord, we reflect on the year that has gone by. We leave behind all our failings, our wrong decisions, our mistakes, our dead end paths. We forgive all who need forgiving, including ourselves. We give our less than happy memories to the One who heals their sting.

Our merciful Lord will bring to mind the good times from the year that has passed… the times of love, joy and blessings. He will show us how we’ve grown on our spiritual journey. He will remind us of the many ways we’ve brought Him glory… the times we’ve shared our testimony… the people we’ve led to Him. As we let go of the ways we have failed, He will show us the ways we have been victorious.

As we close the book on the past year, we look ahead with hope to the future. The past is settled. A year of spiritual newness lies before us… a fresh start… a new beginning. We move ahead with the Lord by our side.

We have faith that our Lord will walk with us into the new year ahead. He will set us on the right path, His path, for our lives. He will go before us to clear our way, removing all obstacles. He will see us through our challenges, fight our battles for us and lead us to victory. He will protect us from all enemies when we place our trust in Him.

“Do all the good you can. By all the means you can. In all the ways you can. In all the places you can. At all the times you can. To all the people you can. As long as ever you can.”John Wesley

Jesus is our mentor as we follow in His footsteps. We aim to be the best we can be… the most like Him… as we begin the year anew. John Wesley summed up the life of Jesus in this quote. This is a picture of true Christlikeness. Jesus always sought to help, heal and forgive. His love and compassion ran so deep that, even when He was weary, He would set aside His cares and reach out to those in need. We are to do the same.

The Lord brings people into our lives for a reason. We are to be Jesus to all we meet. Everyone who crosses our path should see His heart of compassion within us… His light shining through us… His love flowing from us.

“You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.”John Bunyan

Jesus exemplified true selflessness. All He did throughout His ministry was for others. He expected no repayment. Few even took the time to thank Him and give Him praise.

Whoever we help, we should give freely of our compassion. We should expect nothing in return. For freely we have received, so freely we are to give (Matthew 10:8). With Christ’s heart of love, we reach out in love to others.

“His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness.” 2 Peter 1:3

As we open the book on a new year, will we allow God to write our story? His power to live a godly life is within us. Will we walk closely in the footsteps of Jesus… living a life of Christlikeness… honoring Him in all we do? Will we allow Him to lead us… to guide our steps according to His will, plan and purpose? For our merciful God is a God of new beginnings.