Walking into the new year....
"If indeed you have heard Him and have been taught in Him, just as truth is in Jesus, that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth." Ephesians 4:21-24
"One way or another, put in their own way, Christians everywhere are asking the same question. 'If Jesus Christ can really live and love through me, then how do I let him do this? What is the process, what must I actually do, to have this happening in my life?' "
As we walk into the new year and new decade, this is a question that is key to the "New Year's Resolutions" so may of us make. How can I make myself a better reflection of Christ? What does it take to be a Christ-follower and not just a bench-warmer? How can I let God use me this year?
Having the desire to be used by God and to better reflect his love is a sign of a healthy, growing believer. We all do more and do better, and as we walk this path, God provides the help we need--if we just accept it.
Accepting that help comes in the form of putting aside the old and taking on the new Paul explains in his letter to the Ephesians. This is the perfect time of year for such an examination of our lives as we are hoping to change our lives for the better with the start of a new year.
New Years Resolutions often involve better spending or eating habits. How about that resolution to hit the gym more faithfully? However, true change into an effective Christ-follower will involve changes to our habits and lifestyle as well. More time in the Bible? A change in attitude? More kindness? Ask God what he is seeking from your life in this new decade.
Paul writes that we need to do two things--lay aside the old ways and take on new habits. It takes both to be an effective follower of Christ. To do that we need to step back and ask God to help us see the changes we need to make....sometimes it's not obvious at first glance.
Making changes isn't always easy, but to be an effective follower of Christ those changes are worth it. As we reflect on the life changes we want to make in the coming year, let's take a few minutes and seek out his guidance in the changes we should make to our lives in the coming year.