Many will see the New Year as a fresh start and an opportunity to set new goals - the “new year, new me” mentality. Whatever the previous year looked like, we have hope in Jesus. In Him, there is forgiveness, compassion, mercy and grace throughout the year. God’s mercy and compassion are new every morning (Lamentations 3:23). This is wonderfully encouraging as we start a new year.
At the start of 2020, as we walk in faith and obedience to Jesus, we need to keep moving forward and strain toward what is ahead, pressing on to win the prize where we are called heavenward.
Whatever our past looks like, we have hope and help in Jesus this year. As we look to Jesus and trust in His saving work on the cross, being transformed through the work of the Holy Spirit, we will become more like Him every day. To be more like Jesus is a goal worth aiming for every day and every year.
Looking to Jesus, Not to the Things of Earth
In Romans 12:2 it says “do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind" and we will be able to “test and approve what God’s will is.”
When our minds are on Jesus and we follow Him with the help of the Holy Spirit, we can seek the things above and be confident in our salvation. Our minds are being renewed through the Spirit so that we can know the Father’s will for our lives.
The New Self - What We Put on Looks Good!
"Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive” (Colossians 3:12-13).
We start by looking to Jesus who lived His life clothed in righteousness. He can transform us from the inside out. It is the Spirit at work in our hearts and lives that produces these qualities, and “the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control” (Galatians 5:22-23).
The Peace of Christ
“And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body” (Colossians 3:15).
People are searching for a peace to make sense of brokenness in our world. Sickness, death, unemployment, financial strain, rebellious children plus whatever else sends fear, doubt, anxiety and worry in our minds can cause us to feel as if there is no peace.
The truth is, there isn’t a real, everlasting peace that can be found in ourselves or in anyone or anything else. The only real, everlasting peace that can be known and experienced is found in the Prince of Peace - Jesus (Isaiah 9:6).
With so much unpredictability for what is in store for the year ahead, we need to keep our minds on Christ because He keeps those in perfect peace whose mind is trusting and fixed on Him (Isaiah 26:3).
“And be thankful” (Colossians 3:15).
It’s a short, punchy and powerful sentence. Thankfulness doesn’t come naturally, especially when we are so often looking at what seems to be missing in our lives as we long for more. We can be thankful in every circumstance as it is God’s will in Christ for us (1 Thessalonians 5:18)
Whatever unfolds in 2020, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus. He is the name above every name, the Lord of Lords and King of Kings. He is worthy to be praised this year and every year, today, tomorrow and every day for who He is and all that He has done for us.May we come to know more of the Father’s love for us through Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit now and forever.
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