There is a sense of excitement as the old year winds down and we say hello to a new year. I realize there isn’t much difference between December 31st and January 1st. One day seems pretty much the same as the next. But having a distinct marker where one year ends and a new year begins can be powerful in our journey of faith.
Out with the Old
I love traditions. They create a sense of belonging to something bigger than ourselves and forge strong ties with a beloved heritage. But holding on to the past can also hold us back.
The Apostle Paul stated his philosophy.
But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us (Philippians 3:12b-14, NLT).
The past Paul referred to was good—notable heritage and achievements, things any Israelite would be proud of. Some of it was bad too—the zealous persecution of the Church.
Growth can be thwarted when we hold onto the old-bad. We are chained to our past mistakes and doubt we can break free. The consequences of the past cast doubt that we can ever change.
It can also be thwarted when we hold onto the old-good. “We’ve always done it this way! It works! Why should we change?”
In the final days of 2014, what do you need to let go? Whether it is old-bad or old-good, invite Jesus to show you what you should release.
In with the New
Our Lord specializes in new beginnings.
The faithful love of the Lord never ends!
His mercies never cease.
Great is his faithfulness;
his mercies begin afresh each morning (Lamentations 3:22-23).
The Lord gives us new life.
…Anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! (2 Corinthians 5:17)
And He transforms us to make us more like Jesus.
Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect (Romans 12:2).
What joy and hope there is in knowing God is at work in you!
As we count down to 2015, what new thing does the Lord want to do in your life?