Sunday, January 01, 2006

New Year's Resolutions, Anyone?

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”
2 Corinthians 5:17

What a better time than New Year’s Day to start over. It’s a “landmark day” that we can use to put the past behind us and start over. Last year is over; this is the beginning of a New Year. 2005 has now become a memory, good or bad.

I guess that’s what makes New Year’s resolutions so popular. It’s a day to begin that diet, and see ourselves 20 pounds lighter. It’s a day to start a prayer journal, a fast, regular church attendance, etc., etc….It’s a day we can really focus on something we’ve wanted to change and say, “This year, things are going to be different.” It is a definite point of “new beginnings” and second chances.

The wonderful and awesome reality of being a Christian, though, is that every hour of every day is an opportunity to turn around. “As God's fellow workers we urge you not to receive God's grace in vain. For he says, "In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you. I tell you, now is the time of God's favor, now is the day of salvation.” 2 Corinthians 6:1-2 God gives us an opportunity at every junction, every turn. All we have to do is decide that now is when we want it to happen.

Do you want your prayer life to be better? Start praying – now. Do you want to start losing weight? Start eating right and exercising – now. Do you want a relationship to be better? Reach out to that person – now. Let today – each day be a “new year” for you. You don’t have to prepare or “get right” before you come to God for a second chance. He is ready, willing, and available for us right where we are. I went to God in a fallen and sinful state when I asked for salvation and forgiveness. He had already accepted me from the beginning of time, for that was His plan…that none of us would be separated from Him. I accepted His forgiveness, because He already forgave me.

So resolve today to make every day a starting point. Life is only the length of a day. We’re not guaranteed tomorrow. Waiting to “get cleaned up” or “right” before we come to God is dangerous. You may never get that chance, and you’ll never be cleaned up enough, righteous enough, or good enough to come to Him. He knows our sinful state, He knows our fallibility, and He knows our inability to be perfect. He just wants us to accept His love and grace, right where we are. He’ll do the rest if we let Him.

I quit making New Year’s resolutions years ago when I realized I didn’t have to wait for a new year to change my life. And I discovered if I had to wait for the perfect day to make a change, I really wasn’t ready to make the change anyway. So I decided when I’m ready for a change, I’m not going to wait; I’m going to make the change right now. God is ready to give me the strength for change. Are you ready to let Him change you?

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