The new year is an opportunity for a new start. I once heard about a leader that regularly took a block of time in December to engage in planning and goal setting for the next year for his organization. The way our annual calendar is set up, it provides a vision for that. It is the end of the old and the beginning of the new. Not only do we see this concept in view of time, but in nature too. In our part of the globe, we are blessed to have four seasons. When fall and winter come, it is the end of the old. But when spring and summer come, it is the beginning of the new. We see this concept in life itself. In a family, when great grandpa passed away there was sorrow in saying goodbye, but then later there was joy in welcoming a new little infant to the family. And we also see this in spiritual terms. For people outside of Jesus there is spiritual death and darkness, but once they are in Jesus, there is spiritual life and light. One writer from the Bible put it this way, “. . . if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God . . .” (2 Corinthians 5:17-18)
You may not realize it, but if you are outside of Jesus, you are living in the old. All that is in you is death and darkness. Though that sounds grim, it is true. And that may explain some things happening in your life and family right now. They are the consequences or by-products of it. We may try to “Instagram” our life to others, but we cannot escape the reality of our condition. No amount of busyness, noise, praise by others or positive self-talk can hide the truth. This is the old.
Jesus declared He is life and light. He is the one who can make all things new. He conquered death and darkness through His own death and rising again. For all who come to Him, He is willing to make new. But to receive the promise of being made new, there is a great cost. To receive what Jesus died to give you will cost your very life. What does that mean? It means you are no longer willing to put your desires, wants and needs above, beside or to the exclusion of God. It means that you deliberately choose to follow Jesus as your own Lord, King, Master and Ruler.
A new year, a new life is waiting. The empty blood-stained cross of Jesus is what it took to bring you new life. Commit all to Jesus and receive it today.
A prayer for you – “Lord God, I pray you will make the reader a new creation. May they live the promise of newness you rose again to give them. I pray they would turn from their ways and give all they are to you. There is no cost too great for us, compared to what you did on the cross. May they see that and humble themselves before you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.”
Clint Decker is President of Great Awakenings. Hope for Today is a nationally syndicated column. If God used one of Clint’s columns to impact your life, share your story at email@example.com.