New Year’s Realizations
2 Corinthians 5:17
This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!
Today isn’t just a new day but also a new year! Happy New Year! This month is famous for resolutions and promises that last for a few weeks if we’re lucky. Resolutions aren’t bad. I’ve never met anyone who made a “bad” resolution. People don’t resolve to eat more junk, tell more lies and waste money at the onset of a new year. But it is important to understand that the only way we change our behavior and even our character doesn’t lie within our own limited amount of will power to keep a bunch of resolutions.
Anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person... If there’s things I need to change and do differently, it is out of a great desire to be more like Jesus.
Jesus actually came to set us free from lists of laws and resolutions (See Romans 8:1-4). For me, trying harder to do something, be something, or change something usually means failing faster. But putting as much Jesus as possible in my heart allows him to seep out. THAT is what changes my character and behavior not accomplishing a list of changes I want to make on the outside with my own limited source of will and strength.
It is imperative to resolve to realize that the JOY of the Lord is my strength (Nehemiah 8:10). Resolve to realize that without HIM I can do nothing (John 15:5). I need these New Year’s Realizations not more resolutions. And letting a bunch of Jesus in my heart by telling him how much I love him and how thankful I am for all he’s done is how I can continually access the new person he is making in me.
If there is something that needs to change in my life I want Jesus to change me from the inside out. Those changes are lasting. Any resolution a person can come up with only changes one from the outside. When we let Jesus seep out of our hearts, it changes who we are and what we do, what we think about, how we act and how we react.
I found that by being married, I have adopted many of my husband’s preferences naturally simply because I love him. Why not apply this same axiom to my relationship with Jesus? Fill my heart up with him and see what changes. Man, when I met Rob I thought about him all the time, talked to him all the time, visited with him whenever possible, talked about him when I wasn’t with him, and always wondered what he was up to when we weren’t together. 25 years later, it’s no wonder that I act like he acts, talk like he talks, and think like he does too!
So, I tell Jesus how much I love him - just verbally saying it often (see 1 John 4:19), I constantly think of things I’m thankful for (see 1 Thessalonians 5:17), and I read about him frequently in the Gospels because I love all of his interactions with people (see Luke 19:10). This fills my heart with JOY about HIM, and I find that I start being more like him.
So, instead of making resolutions to try and be a better person, spending more time with Jesus -the best person - is way more effective and lasting.
Dear Lord Jesus,
I love you. I love you so much and I am so thankful for all that you have done for me. Thank you for freeing me from the burden of trying to act “good.” Thank you for your comfort and grace and forgiveness. Thank you for my family and my husband and our kids. Thank you for the many blessings of this past year and for your unending source of hope and strength for this new year. Thank you so much! And I pray in your name, amen.