New Year – New Me

New Year – New Me


Each New Year, many people take time to reflect on their lives: they think about where they have been, where they are and where they are headed. This self-reflection makes a lot of sense. Our lives are so calendar/schedule/appointment driven, a new year makes it ‘feel’ life we have a fresh start, a clean slate, a new beginning.

A sincere examination of who we have been and who we are as compared to who we desire to be will inevitably lead to the identification of gaps; some big, some small, some important, some irrelevant, but all the same – GAPS. Most people don’t like gaps in their self-image. The sense of ‘I can do better. I should do better. I will do better!’ results in many people making New Year’s Resolutions.

I am neither a proponent of nor an opponent of such resolutions. But scripture is clear, sincere self-examination in the mirror of God’s Word is very important!
  • James 1:23-25 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; 24 for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. 25 But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.

Scripture is also clear that when we surrendered to the Lordship of Christ and accept His free gift of salvation, we do have a fresh start, a clean slate, a new beginning!
  • 2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

Here are two verses from God’s Word that provide a small glimpse into the vast library of wisdom found in the Holy Bible related to how followers of Jesus Christ should be living there lives.
  • Colossians 2:6-7 As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, 7 rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving.

But in direct opposition to how the world attempts to change their lives for the better, a Christian’s journey is not about self-improvement and self-exaltation. A relationship with Jesus is about succeeding through His strength while glorifying His name (see       2 Corinthians 12:9-10 and 1 Corinthians 10:31).

If you have been redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ, you are already fully righteous before God.
  • 2 Corinthians 5:21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
  • Hebrews 10:14 For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified.
Maturing as a Christian is about becoming in your daily life who you already are in God’s eternal view.


Part of this very important process of maturing as a follower of Jesus includes self-examination and surrender.

To facilitate thorough and ongoing self-examination and surrender in light of the Godly truths presented in Colossians 2:6-7, let’s reference a few related verses found in God’s Word.


Having received Jesus Christ, we are to:
 

Walk in Him
  • Psalm 1:1-2 Blessed is the man Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor stands in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful; 2 But his delight is in the law of the Lord, And in His law he meditates day and night.
    • Walking faithfully with Jesus Christ is just as much about what we don’t do as what we do.
  • 1 John 2:6 He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.
    • Walking with Christ means walking like Christ. He set an example for us of how to live. Our life after spiritual rebirth should be dramatically different than it was before we knew Christ. In Him, we walk in newness of life (Romans 6:4).
 Are you walking
like Christ walked?


Be Rooted and Built Up in Him
  • Proverbs 12:3 A man is not established by wickedness, But the root of the righteous cannot be moved.
    • A tree with a deep and healthy root system is not easily moved. Our spiritual health and stability is based on Christ’s righteousness and the work He has done in our lives. He grounds us in God’s righteousness.
  • Ephesians 3:17-19 that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— 19 to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
    • To know the love of God, to be in love with God, to learn to love like God; these roots help us grow closer to God and to grow in ways that further His kingdom.
 Are you firmly planted
in Christ’s righteousness?


Be Established in the Faith
  • Psalm 40:2 He also brought me up out of a horrible pit, Out of the miry clay, And set my feet upon a rock, And established my steps.
    • In His grace, mercy and love, God has saved us from eternal damnation in Hell. Stability today and confident anticipation about tomorrow is possible only through the faith He has given us. His Word illuminates our path and helps us to identify tripping points along the way (Psalm 119:105).
  • Hebrews 8:6 But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, inasmuch as He is also Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises.
    • The new covenant of grace offered by God is much better than the old covenant based on law. God’s Law is right and good; but we aren’t. We need God’s grace to be in right relationship with Him.
 Is there stability
in your faith in Christ?


Have Been Taught
  • Psalm 119:102 I have not departed from Your judgments, For You Yourself have taught me.
    • God’s Word is our teacher. His Words make us wiser than those who walk in darkness (Psalm 119:98).
  • Acts 11:26 And when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. So it was that for a whole year they assembled with the church and taught a great many people. And the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch.
    • Barnabas and Saul taught the church at Antioch. Active participation in Christ’s church is critical in being equipped for Christ’s service (Ephesians 4:11-15).
 Are you growing in
your knowledge of God?


Abound in Our Faith with Thanksgiving
  • Psalm 107:1 Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.
    • God is good and gives us all good things (James 1:17). Thank Him!
  • Philippians 4:6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;
    • As you pray to your Heavenly Father, thank Him for who He is and what He does.
  Are you overflowing
with thankfulness to God?


Our daily walk with Christ requires ongoing reflection. The indwelling Holy Spirit of God teaches, guides and empowers us; all for God’s glory.
  • John 14:26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.
  • John 16:13 However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.
  • Acts 1:8 But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”


My daily resolution is
self-examination and surrender
to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
 
I am new in Him!!!


Prayer

Father, I pray that those who love You will faithfully self-examine themselves under the authority of Your Word and the leading of Your Holy Spirit. I also pray that we joyfully surrender to Your Will and Your Ways! You have made us new through Jesus Christ! May we be resolute in our walk with You and diligent in our seeking to know You better. In Christ’s name I pray. Amen.