White stones for a new year

He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, with a new name written on the stone that no one knows except the one who receives it.” Revelation 2:17
As we start into a new year it is important to remember that our God is not finished yet with us. The world will try to label you. Try to define you. But that is not how God sees you. When he looks at you he doesn’t see the adulterer. He doesn’t see the failure. He doesn’t see the broken marriages. He doesn’t see the liar. He doesn’t see the cheater. He doesn’t see the drunken mistakes. He doesn’t see the luster. He doesn’t see the thief. He doesn’t see the racist. He doesn’t see the shame. He doesn’t see the porn addict. He sees Christ, on a tree. He knows that the debt is paid in full. He looks with eyes of love. He sees one who has been redeemed by the blood of the Lamb and given a new identity and a new name. A name that we don’t yet know, but He knows. He knows who we were made to be. He doesn’t see our past failures. He sees our future potential in Christ.
When we put our faith in Jesus we are no longer defined by our past, we are defined by grace. We are all on a journey, and what has gone before is now behind us. The blood shed by Jesus on the cross has covered our sins and failures and has opened up to us the way forward to the life God designed us for. So as we start this new year maybe there are things you need to let go of. Burdens you need to lay down. Grievances you need to forgive. Sins you need to cast off. The start of a new year is the perfect time, when there is so much focus on fresh starts, to come afresh to Jesus. To come afresh to the cross. To leave your past behind, to lay down your burdens and enter into His rest. To enter this year not dwelling on your past mistakes, but dwelling on what Jesus has done for us and the potential He has in store for you.

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