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Maybe this year will be different

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” (2 Corinthians 5:17, ESV)

Each year we promise ourselves a new start. We step away from the past and toward the hopeful future. If only it were so easy.

It turns out that the habits are hard to build, the vices hard to break.

Yet each year the glimmer of optimism still shines. “Maybe this year will be different.”

This year can be different, though not for the reasons you may think.

Jesus promised to make his followers radically new. Like “new-born-baby” new. “Made-from-scratch” new.

For one minute, let’s forget new skills, habits and goals. Let’s talk new life.

Freedom from your past is not forgiving yourself, it is being forgiven. A hopeful future does not spring from trusting in yourself, rather, it flows out of trusting in Him.

He offers to make you new. He offers to make your soul a masterpiece of His grace. He offers to transform you from who you are to who He calls you to be.

Don’t mistake this for some watered-down promise of riches and success, as if eternity could be measured out in dollars and lifetime achievement awards.

Let the old things fade away. Let your hands cling to them no more.

Fill your new year with new hope—true hope.

This year can be different.

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