This evening, once again we celebrate the end of the year and the joyous start of another. We are excited to spend the evening with dear friends and remember all that has happened in the past 12 months. With each new year people are anxious to leave the old, used year in the past and put on the new, fresh and clean. Lists, goals, modified schedules fill my mind as I put ink on the new pages of my 2016 calendar.
This year as I think about the new year I want to be hopeful, productive and grow. It is easy to make the new year a sort of “salvation” a fresh start to the new and better you; the shedding of the failures and look ahead never to disappoint again. However, this thinking is flawed, and I am convicted. The only “new year” to be celebrating is a day rather. A day over 2,000 years ago where Jesus Christ wiped my sin away, changed history forever and left himself as an example to strive for for HIS glory. That day prepared a day 16 years ago, when God revealed to me that I could not in fact, live a life that would please Him apart from His good gift of salvation. That all of my sin outweighed my success and my dead heart of stone could not ever produce anything except further decay. Death is final and life does not reemerge. Unless of course you are Jesus Christ. When He conquered death and came to Life, His life and victory became LIFE-GIVING. Life produces Life. Read Romans 5 for the fullness of this amazing act of Jesus on the cross.
2016 will have new trends, opportunities, education, relationships and the range of emotions. But remember, if your heart is dead and lacks the light of life. If the Holy Spirit has not removed your heart of stone and given you a heart of flesh I can tell you that 2016 will end they same way this year is. If you don’t become a new person supernaturally what would make you think that your outcome would be different? Death produces death, we can pretty it up and hide it and pretend its not there, but ultimately death will prevail. We need an intervention and we have that in the person of Jesus Christ.
At the start of this new year, have a different approach and take a good look at who you are and the state of your heart. Compare that to the living, perfect person of Jesus Christ and ask HIM to come and mold your heart into the image of something that is full of life, joy, peace, self control, love, something that will be pleasing to God the Father. The Lord is our strength and song, in Him alone do we find the person we are longing to be. Our old life is gone and can once and for all be put to rest. Turn over the magazines, change the radio, and fix my eyes on what and who is TRUE. A half truth is no truth at all.
This year I resolve to not hold myself to the worldly standards of half truths. I rest in who Jesus Christ has revealed Himself to be in the BIBLE ALONE. May our 2015 end with joy and celebration and 2016 end the same because of who God is, not because of our misshapen ideals that we have for ourselves. Believe me, there will be goals, lists and modifications that every January brings because of the fun and challenge of it, but nothing more than that. Hallelujah all I have is Christ, and He is my life. This sweet song by J.J. Heller brought a smile to my face and a great reminder to look at our lives how God sees us and glorifying Him because of it, not focusing on ourselves.