A New Year and a Clean Slate

A New Year and a Clean Slate (A New Year's Thought)

"Get yourselves a new heart and a new spirit!"—Ezek. 18:31

Did you make any New Year's resolutions? If not, there's still time for at least one or two.

We don't know whether God keeps a calendar or not. The Bible says that his reckoning of time is different from ours. A thousand years are as a day with the Lord and a day as a thousand years. Does God have a New Year or not? For that answer we must wait.

But we do know this. God is always ready to help us start all over again in life, and at New Year's time we start the year all over. One big fact Jesus revealed about our heavenly Father is his willingness to give us another chance. Every day, not every year, but every day and even every moment he is ready to forgive our sins if we forgive others and if we ask for pardon.

Before writing paper was so cheap and plentiful, school pu­pils used a piece of flat, smoothly polished slate for writing. Usually these thin sheets of stone, for that's what they were, had a wooden frame for case of handling. When the slate was filled with pencil marks, the pupil wiped it clean with a damp cloth, or lacking that, with his dampened fingers. That's the way our great-great-grandparents did their homework.

From this piece of school equipment came the expression "Start off with a clean slate."

When God forgives us, he "wipes the slate clean." He removes from our hearts and minds the smudges of sin, bad thoughts, and ugly feelings. Nothing remains.

Have you ever had a bad quarrel or fight with your best friend? After a few days or hours you both felt so badly you made up and were better friends than before. Remember how good you felt inside when things where all right again? Your friendship had a "clean slate," so to speak. The bad feelings had been erased.

New Year's season is a good time to begin with a clean slate—to start over inside with new habits replacing the old. It's a good time to stop lazy practices of study and start more sensible ones. A good time to stop eating too many sweets. A good time to start obeying your parents promptly and not after much coaxing. A good time to start arriving on time at Sunday school and church.

A good time to become friendly with some lonely child in school or that timid new boy or girl just recently moved into town or the neighborhood.

A good time to start reading the Bible each day and praying to God each night.

God has provided in a wonderful way a clean slate each morning. We fall asleep each night with our bodies and brains tired from work and play. Our eyelids couldn't stay open much longer. Chemical poisons make our muscles fatigued.

Each morning we woke up refreshed—the cobwebs wiped from our minds and our muscles ready for the day. In only eight or ten hours God has in his mysterious way truly renewed our bodies.

Likewise, he can renew our souls if we want him to. That is even a greater miracle, for it involves our desire to be renewed. We must ask him to do it.

New Year's is a logical time to begin all over. Ask God to help you start the best and most wonderful year of your life.

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