New Year’s Resolutions
Have you made a list? Lose weight. Spend less; save more. Be more organized. While we are barraged with ads full of ways to make our physical lives better every January, Christians can think of the new year as a time to revisit our spiritual lives which are much more important than any earthly provisions.
Renewal is a biblical idea. God renews our spirit and soul, washes away and forgives sin. We know that in the Old Testament, God’s people were constantly in need of renewal and a return to God’s ways as they fell away and were returned:
- Ps. 65:3 As far as our transgressions, thou shalt purge them away.
- Ps. 51:2 Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me and I shall be whiter than snow. Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.
- Isa. 1:16 Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil; Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow. I will turn my hand upon you and purge away the dross…”
Jesus and his early followers taught of spiritual renewal through Christ’s blood and baptism:
- John 3:3-6 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say into thee, Except a man be born of born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus said unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
- John 5:24 He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death into life.
- Acts 2:38 Then Peter said. Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
- Rom. 6:3 Know ye not, that so many of us were baptized into Jesus Christ, were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For as we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection.
- I John 4:10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be a propitiation for our sins.
- Acts 26:18 To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is within me.
When we are in Christ’s light, we have seemingly endless opportunities to do good things and spread his light to dispel the darkness in the world. We can resolve to do many things in 2014. Just a few: read God’s word, tell others about his goodness, help those less fortunate that we are, help in an Estes ministry, teach Bible class, take food to the sick, send cards of encouragement, even smile at someone who is down.