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A New Yearís Clean Slate
By Wayne Nelson

Ah, January Ė the first month of a brand new year. It is a month of new beginnings, new resolutions and new starts. This is the time of the year when the slate of last year, with all its successes, disappointments, missed opportunities and other assorted categories, is literally wiped clean and we get a chance to start another year with an unsullied slate.

Wouldnít it be nice if our lives could reflect the clean slate of a New Year? If, somehow, we could have our slate wiped clean and be given a brand new slate upon which to write our new life?

Well, thatís exactly what happens when we accept Jesus as our Savior. As Paul recorded in 2 Corinthians 5:17, "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." (KJV)

As Luke records in the Acts of the Apostles, when Paul was converted and was led to Ananias to receive his sight, Ananias told Paul, "And now why tarriest thou? Arise and be baptized and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord." (Acts 22:16 KJV)

This calls to mind the statement found in Isaiah 1:18, "Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool." (KJV)

At the moment of our new birth into the family of God, our old slate is thrown away and replaced with a totally clean slate, ready for us to begin writing our life in Christ upon.

Unfortunately, being very weak in the obedience department, we soon sully the new slate with our disobedience to the things God wants us doing. And we were so sure that we really did know what we were doing. Now thereís the rub, we were so sure we knew what we were doing that we failed to ask God if we were doing what He wanted. So now our brand new slate has become soiled with sin, and it felt sooo good when that slate was clean and new.

Whatís an individual to do? Our clean slate became soiled so quickly with our sin and we really did want it to remain clean of all sin.

Well, donít despair my friend, for help is right there in Godís Word. In 1 John 1:9 it says, "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." (KJV)

So, if we just confess the sins that have messed up our new slate, God is faithful and just to forgive those sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Once more, we can have a clean slate to write on. However, there is no limit placed on how many times we can have God wipe clean our slate. So theoretically, we can have our slate cleaned by God over and over again. God knew that it would be extremely difficult to obey His every command all the time, so He provided a way for us to literally flush our slate of sin and unrighteousness and once again have a clean slate to write the story of our life on.

God has provided a way that we can, over and over again, have the clean slate He gave us when we accepted His Son as our Savior. A perpetual New Year, where the slate is clean and fresh as many times as we want. All we have to do is confess our sins and God is faithful and just to not only forgive these sins, but clean up all the unrighteousness that our slate is holding. We can experience, time and again, the clean slate God first gave us when we accepted Jesus.

What a wonderful way God has of keeping His children clean, even though we have wallowed in the muck of sin.

What a marvelous, wonderful God we serve!
Dr. Nelson is the author of one book, "Walk Where Jesus Walked" and is taking yet another step in the journey his Lord has called him to Ė namely helping the babes in Christ mature, as well as helping other more mature Christians go deeper into God's word. He brings this love for Godís Word and His people to his role as Editor of A Word in Season.

LIFE LESSONS FROM 2004:
Iíve learned that no matter in life what you do, if you do it to the glory of God it will be blessed; even if you do it wrong, God can turn it for good. (Lucian Thompson)

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