I love the beginning of a new year. It is such a motivation to start fresh and begin moving forward towards accomplishing new goals. 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.
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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.
For we also once were foolish ourselves, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our life in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another. But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by His grace we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. – Titus 3:3-7
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.
I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me. – Galatians 2:20
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.
For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died; and He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf. – 2 Corinthians 5:14-15
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.
*Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations are taken from the NASB.