Message Magazine’s Online Devotional for Sunday, January 1, 2017
“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” (2 Corinthians 5:17).
Happy New Life! Oh, did you think that was a typo? No. I really meant to say, “life.” During this season of giving thanks, festivities, family, food & fun, and gift giving, we have a unique opportunity to take inventory of our lives. The New Year is a sort of arbitrary time for us to make resolutions. It is true that many people will say they will lose weight, exercise more, get a promotion, get rid of that abusive boyfriend, get that degree, only to lose steam within weeks of their resolutions. This is why some are adamant against making such promises to themselves and others.
The cool thing about my salutation, which is based on our theme text, is that the power to accomplish this new life does not lie solely within our own determination to keep it. The Bible says that if we are in Christ, we will be recreated. This is an interesting promise, because it gives us a couple of related points of reference. There is no doubt that God created us in the first place, otherwise we would not be here; you reading and me writing. Thus, the same God who created us in the first place is at work in your re-creation if we are in Christ. The Bible teaches in Ezekiel 36:26, John 3:3-7, and John 1:12-13 that by faith God creates us anew with new hearts that are susceptible to His Spirit, to live according to His prescription for our lives. These two established facts, that God created us in the first place and that He has promised to re-create us in the power of His Spirit are evidence enough that we can have new lives.
So, whether you are into New Year’s resolutions or not, be encouraged that you can have a new life in Christ. Be encouraged that all the sins you have ever committed can be forgiven, and you can be cleansed from all unrighteousness. Be encouraged that you can learn to live according to God’s plan and not be subject to the defeat of human attempts at holiness. Be encouraged that God is the One who is hard at work to effect this change for you if you place your trust in Him. So again I say, “Happy New Life!”
Thank God for the blessing and rich possibilities of your new life experience. Ask Him to help you cooperate with Him so you can thrive in this new experience.