Turning Over a New Leaf


A new year, a new page in the book of your life… However you view it or whether you celebrate the Chinese New Year, the Jewish New Year (Rosh Hashanah) or the Islamic New Year (Hijri); every new day is the first day of the rest of your life. People invariably see their New Year as a new beginning and most people want to be better morally and make a new start; yet the reality is that individuals cannot turn over ‘a new leaf’ in their own strength. “Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots?” (Jeremiah 13v23)

Yesterday, on the last day of the old year, I was confronted by an age-old problem. My daughter rang me from abroad, in tears, to tell me that she had been attacked and robbed of every cent in her possession. Her house keys, bank card and ID card had also been robbed and I had to quickly find the right number and ring that emergency number to get her current card cancelled.

I daresay that most people have been victims of robbery at one time or another, but it is interesting to note that when someone commits this (or any crime) it affects many more than just one person, leaving other loved ones of the victim very distressed and concerned about the whole situation.

We pass this way but once, and whatever we do ultimately affects a wide circle of people. The law rests on these two commandments… “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.” (Luke 10v27) And if you love your neighbour as yourself, you will not attack or rob his person and you will not lie to him or even slight him.

It is true that not all of us are by nature, thieves, for example. We may find a lady’s handbag and hand it in to store personnel. We may be honest in our business dealings – but do we think nothing of telling a ‘white lie’ to get ourselves out of an embarrassing situation?

No, we can no more reach God’s standards for us in our own strength, than we can ‘lift ourselves up by our own shoelaces.’ Are you weary of whatever it is that has you enslaved to it? Is it an addiction of some kind, dishonesty or even resentment or jealousy of someone? Do you feel that you can never overcome that which you abhor within your very soul?

Perhaps you feel that none of these evil traits belong to you; you may be an honest person, having no ill-feeling towards anyone that you are aware of… but unless you have come in repentance to the Lord Jesus Christ as Saviour, there will always be something amiss with your life, for the Word of God tells us that we “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3v23)

Original sin is something which we all have inherited – our unfortunate legacy from ancient Eden.

But the Lord Jesus Christ died and rose again to free us from the law of sin and death!

On this first day of the rest of your life, if you have not already done so, cast your burden of sin and worry and useless strivings at the feet of Jesus who loves you like no else ever will. He died for you, wherever and whoever you are, to set you free from the chains of sin and death.

And when you trust Him to come into your life, He will give you the will and the strength to love Him with all your heart and to love your neighbour as yourself.

“Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord;” (Acts 3v19)

Jesus said: “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest unto your souls.  For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”  (Matt. 11v28-30).

May you truly know His peace “which passeth all understanding,” on this, the first day of the rest of your life.


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