“Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things have passed away, behold, new things have come!” – 2 Corinthians 5:17
It’s another New Year! And what, may I ask, is so special about a new year? Maybe it has to do with the fact that when one Monday is gone, another pops up seven days later. Decembers cycle back around each year; and as much as we’ll miss the spring, we do take comfort in the fact that we’ll see another one the following year. Years and decades, however, don’t follow this same cycle. Once the 2019 calendar year expires, there will never be another one. Days, months, seasons, and holidays will all eventually return, but once this year is over, it’s over.
Maybe that’s why we tend to schedule our resolutions for change at the beginning of each New Year, hoping the old habits won’t return much as that particular year won’t return. This approach to changing ourselves is symbolic, of course. Real change requires so much more than a New Year’s resolution. Why? Because it’s tough to break established habits – especially habits that aren’t particularly helpful. Thankfully, followers of Jesus who sincerely desire change have incredible hope! The first step is admitting that we are helpless, no matter how hard we strive, in our own strength. Lasting change requires God’s help – and He’s always willing and ready to help.
The Bible says if anyone is in Christ, then he is a new creation. This means that when we give our lives over to Christ, that our lives become transformed. Jesus changes us from the inside out. No longer are we defined by our past sins and baggage. The slate is wiped clean because of the blood of the cross. And that’s reason to celebrate!
As we step not only into another new year but also a fresh, new decade – take some time to reflect. What have you learned? Where have you been? What have you come through? For Jesus followers, take a moment to thank God for how He walked with you through every up and down of the past decade. If you’ve never given your life to Jesus Christ in faith, why not mark this new decade as the beginning of your faith journey? Leave behind your past sins, regrets, and endless striving to change in your own strength and accept the gift of forgiveness and grace Jesus offers.