A New Year - A New Me!
A New Year – A New Me!
Happy New Year to YOU! Can you believe it is 2014? Time is flying by. Here we are at the beginning of a brand new year. A new year offers a new start. It is time for A New Year – A New Me. Have you paused for a minute and thought about what you want this year to look like? How you pondered the changes you desire to make? Have you acknowledged that there are some areas of your life that need improvement? Don’t worry…if 2013 has left you with regrets or disappointments or heartaches. A New Year offers a New Me! Lamentations 3:22-23 tells us,
“Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.”
Isn’t that good news? Not only are God’s mercies new every new year – they are new every day! So we get a fresh start to be who God is calling us to be every morning. Who is God calling you to be? What changes is He calling you to make this year? As I raised my children we used to sing, “He’s still working on me. To make me what I ought to be. It took Him just a week to make the moon and the stars; the sun and the earth; and Jupiter and Mars. How loving and patient He must be…’cause He’s still working on me.” It’s a catchy tune.
Such a simple song – such a simple concept – He’s still working on me. Children may not grasp it’s meaning – but we surely can. God desires to grow us and change us into an image that reflects Him – His love; His kindness; His serving heart; His obedience; His surrender. We know that – don’t we? But still…we struggle. We look more like the world than we look like God. We are full of worldly attributes like self-centeredness; jealousy; self-righteousness; negativity; bitterness; anger, greediness and worry. Yuck! Who wants to carry those ugly attitudes around? Not me. So what are we going to do? Well, Romans 12:2 says,
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable will of God.”
Let’s do it! Let’s be transformed!
A New Year – A New Me!
Where do we begin? Well, the first step in changing our behavior is self-examination. Not fun! It is hard to look within our self and let God show us the areas that need to be changed. We have to lay down our pride and our self-righteousness and open our heart and our mind to God’s truth. It takes maturity and humbleness to realize that we are worldly. But how sweet it is to confess our sins and receive His forgiveness and His mercies. He loves us so.
Speaking of love – our next step is to learn to love with His love. We think we do – but oh, we don’t. In Romans 12:9-21, we are told to love with a self-sacrificial love – seeking what is best for another. The greatest proof of the reality of us living for Jesus – is the love that we have for each other. Christ is the model for this kind of self-sacrificial love. If we are honest – then we must realize that if we are jealous, or judgmental, or angry or offended by others – we do not love them as Jesus loves. Ouch! Loving with God’s love includes eagerly serving others, being hospitable to others; speaking well of those who persecute you; sharing in the joy and the sorrows of others; and seeking to live peacefully with others. That is a tall order. Recently a friend of mine shared some information from John Maxwell on building relationships. She went on to paraphrase and in it said, “be hard to offend”. I love that! In 2014 – let’s all be hard to offend. Just love each other unconditionally. Amen? Amen!
Our next step to total transformation – is to submit our self – our will – to the Lord. We must obey civil laws and we must obey God’s laws. We are to surrender to the authority that God has placed above us. In my last post – “Jesus Wants All of Me” - I spoke about surrendering our all – just as Christ did. He surrendered Himself to God even until the point of death. That is an example of total surrender.
And next Romans 14:14 tells us:
“But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.”
This means that we should clothe ourselves with Christ-like characteristics such as truth, righteousness, and peace. If we seek God with all our heart and clothe ourselves in Christ then we will begin to look more like Christ and less like the world.
So, A New Year – A New Me!
That is exciting! Let’s all pray for each other that we will take the time to do a self-examination and allow God to show us the areas within us that we need to change. Let’s commit to love each other – offering each other grace and forgiveness and acceptance. Let’s totally surrender our self to the One who surrendered His life for ours. And lastly, let’s clothe ourselves in Christ and strive to be more like Him! Now that would be a total life makeover!
Let’s do this!