As we start the new year, we read a lot about resolutions, goals, or selecting one word for the year. The year unfolds on day at a time. Our daily choices shape our lives. How will this year be different?
One verse of scripture can change your life. It did mine.
In my teen years, a visiting choir performed an anthem in church. Music has always touched my soul. That day, the lyrics and rhythm captured my attention and gripped my heart.
The words were:
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, you are a new creation. Behold, the old has passed away and the new has come.”
A new creation?
At the time I was tangled up in low self-worth, caught up in perfectionism and comparing myself to others. The idea of becoming new not only enticed me, it thrilled may heart. I was further surprised to learn those words were from the Bible in 2 Corinthians 5:17.
I could set aside the self-image and embrace the love of God, becoming a new creation in Christ. The gospel began the work of transformation in my life.
Since then, I continue growing as a new creation. Life events have shaped me. God’s word has been an anchor for me. When I yield to the Lord, The Holy Spirit shapes me. I praise God for salvation, but also for the transformation of my heart and mind.
Only God can accomplish the transformation of a person’s soul to a new creation—not any new year resolution.
My husband recently wrote in his Monday Morning Encouragement* devotional,
“When you say “yes” to Jesus’ offer of life, you are then “in Christ, “becoming a “new creation.” You are no longer the “old you” with just a new Christian veneer. You are a new creation, being shaped daily more into the likeness of Jesus. Brennan Manning writes, “Christianity happens when men and women accept with unwavering trust that their sins have not only been forgiven but forgotten. washed away in the blood of the Lamb”(emphasis mine).
What good news! Our sins are not just forgiven, although that alone should be cause for rejoicing. Our sins are forgotten, buried in the sea of God’s forgetfulness. David wrote “as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us” (Ps. 103:12).
That begs the question: If God forgets my sin, why do I remember them so vividly and so often?” While it is true at my conversion I became a new creation, the Holy Spirit is still in the process of applying that newness to every aspect of my life, including my memory. Plus, I have an enemy who loves to remind me of my sin, attempting to use the leverage of guilt to pry me away from God. It is then we must remind Satan, and ourselves, Christ made us new and is continuing to make us new, to be more like him. “
The old year is gone and cannot be changed.
This year can be different, with the transformation from Jesus Christ.
The new year is an unwritten story with blank pages.
Start the year reminded of our newness in Christ, letting God write our transformation stories so others may know Him. Live as a new creation in the love of God.
To subscribe to the Monday Morning Encouragement, please go to www.discipleheritage.org