Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Devotionals for the Heart: The Truth about New Beginnings

New Beginnings
A devotional by Patrick E. Craig

“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland." ~Isaiah 43:18-19 (KJV)

January is the time of new beginnings. Most of us look at the New Year as though it is a clean slate, la table rasa, upon which will be written all the glorious things that might happen or could happen as the year unfolds.

We are determined that everything will be different and we declare strong-minded resolutions: we will not make the same mistakes again; we are leaving our failures and unfinished business behind; we are starting completely over.

Here's the truth about that: in this world we have no guarantees that this brand new beginning will work out any better than the last one. Every New Year begins in the ashes of the old and many are the dreams and hopes that lie scattered behind us in those ashes. And despite our best laid plans the broken fragments of our dreams stick to us like glue.

Can you see the dilemma we face? The new beginnings we hope for do not start with nothing, for in truth everything from the past is carried forward. Even a book does not start with a blank page, for when the writer begins, they have been crowded to the work by a story that has been germinating in their heart. That story may spring to life on the page, but it was born long before in an idea, a thought, or an experience. So it is with "new beginnings."

But there is hope.

That's because the "Author" of the book that is our life wrote it long before we were even born. Because He lives outside of time, he knows the end from the beginning. He was there when we were born and He will be there when we die. And seeing the dilemma that wrong choices and sin make in our lives He offers us a way out of the endless cycle of disappointment our lives can become.

In eternity, where He lives, there is a real new beginning that we can count on. And in His love and mercy towards us, he offers it to us. That new beginning is the change that takes place in us when we say, "Yes" to His Son.

The Apostle Paul says we become a "New Man." In the Greek language the words are kainos anthropos. Kainos means "new" but not only in the sense of having just been created, but also meaning "new" as in never before heard of, a completely different kind of human being. That is the new beginning that God offers us, a chance to be what humans were always meant to be: perfect, unspoiled, eternal beings crowned with glory and honor and living forever with him in a beautiful garden.

So let's make a resolution for this coming year. Let's look "unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith," and resolve that our lives will not be submerged in a world that can only bring disappointment, but we will live for the one who has guaranteed us a seat by His side in heavenly places forever.

And if we do not know Him as Savior, let's make sure we resolve to change that. Then we will find the new beginning we have always hoped for.

"Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." ~ 2 Corinthians 5:17 (KJV)

Author bio:
Patrick E. Craig is a lifelong writer and musician who left a successful songwriting and performance career in the music industry to follow Christ in 1984. 

In 2011 he signed a three-book deal with Harvest House Publishers to publish his Apple Creek Dreams series. His current series is The Paradise Chronicles. The first book in the series, The Amish Heiress, a romantic suspense novel, was published by Patrick's company, P&J Publishing, in August of 2015 and remained on the Amazon Top 100 best sellers list in three categories for seven months. 

The second book in the series, The Amish Princess, a historical romance novel, was released in December of 2016 and was on Amazon's Hot New Releases for over a month. Harlequin recently purchased the print rights for both books for their Walmart Amish series. Patrick also just released Cracking The Indie Egg—A Recipe For Publishing Your Own Book and it is available in most major digital bookstores. 

Patrick and his wife Judy, make their home in Idaho. They have two married children and five grandchildren. Patrick is represented by the Steve Laube Agency. 

Connect with Patrick:
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