I love the beginning of a new year. It is such a motivation to start fresh. I find that I am suddenly motivated to start living better, and I know I’m not the only one. The start of a new year brings about New Year’s resolutions. Whether it’s eating better, losing weight, or simply being a better person, the new year is a perfect motivation to make goals and begin again.
With a new year, we are given the chance to have a new beginning. We can start fresh and not look back. It’s a from this day forward mentality that makes the New Year a perfect time to make a change.
When it comes to our faith in God, we don’t have to wait until the New Year to make a change. God’s Word tells us that His mercies are made new each and every morning (Lamentations 3:22-23). When we choose to follow Christ, we get to have that same from this day forward mentality that we experience each and every New Year. We no longer live for ourselves; our very purpose in life changes.
Once we, too, were foolish and disobedient. We were misled and became slaves to many lusts and pleasures. Our lives were full of evil and envy, and we hated each other. But — When God our Savior revealed his kindness and love, he saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit. He generously poured out the Spirit upon us through Jesus Christ our Savior. Because of his grace he declared us righteous and gave us confidence that we will inherit eternal life. – Titus 3:3-7 (NLT)
The Bible often refers to believers as being “born again.” We had our physical birth, but now we get to experience a new spiritual birth in Christ Jesus. That means we spiritually have a new birthday. We literally have a day in time where we can say, “From this day forward, I belong to Jesus.”
My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. – Galatians 2:20 (NLT)
Now that doesn’t mean we won’t slip up from time to time. Just as we occasionally slip up on our New Year’s resolutions, we will undoubtedly have moments of weakness when it comes to serving God.
There is one significant difference, however…
When we make New Year’s resolutions, we make our best efforts to keep them with nothing but our own strength and willpower. (This is why most people abandon their resolutions by February!)
When we are born again, however, we have the strength of the Holy Spirit living inside of us. We don’t have to try to serve God with our own strength. God actually gives us the strength we need to stand firm in our faith. The Bible tells us that we are dead to our old lives and made new in Christ.
Either way, Christ’s love controls us. Since we believe that Christ died for all, we also believe that we have all died to our old life. He died for everyone so that those who receive his new life will no longer live for themselves. Instead, they will live for Christ, who died and was raised for them. – 2 Corinthians 5:14-15 (NLT)
So as everyone is making their New Year’s resolutions, take this time to remember your new life in Christ. If you’ve never begun your new life with God, know that it is never too late to be born again and to start new.
Always remember…We serve a God of new beginnings. His mercies are new every morning and His grace is never-ending.