The start of a New Year is a time of new beginnings and fresh starts – as well as a cause for celebration. I love the way that Jesus combined all of this in His story of the prodigal son. It’s about a young man who rebelled and left his father, taking his inheritance with him and wasting it on careless living. Luke 15:14 says, “He spent everything he had . . . and he was left without a thing”. His recklessness had left him lonely and miserable. So, he decided to swallow his pride and return home and ask to be a servant in his father’s house.
In Jesus’ story, it’s important to notice the father’s response: “But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him . . . The father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate’” (Luke 15:20, 22-23 NIV).
The prodigal’s father is like your heavenly Father. No matter what you’ve done, when you come home to God, he wraps you in his love. He gives you his best and says, “All is forgiven! Go get the robe. Go get the shoes. Let’s have a feast! My child has returned to me.” You come home to celebration, not condemnation.
A new beginning, a fresh start, a celebration. That’s where we’re at right now. That’s what God’s offering you at the start of this new year. And remember, it’s just the beginning. God’s got great plans for you in the year ahead.
Here’s what He says: “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11. Happy New Year! May we all have a blessed New Year full of success, service, and love! Let’s pray to our Heavenly Father, the God of new beginnings.
“Dear God, thank you that you make all things new. Today’s a new day, a new year, a chance for a new start. Yesterday is gone and with it any regrets, mistakes, or failures we may have experienced. It’s a good day to be glad and give thanks, and we do, Lord. Thank you for today, a new opportunity to love, give, and be all that you want us to be.” We pray that You will lead us each step of this New Year. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.
If you’d like to keep more of God’s wonderful promises close to you through this new year then I’d like to recommend The Incredible Journey Bible Reading Guide. It will lead you through the many promises and stories of the Bible each day of the year.