Skip to main content

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.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The New Trilemma

Beknownst to many, I dread the idea of going to a karaoke bar. Unbeknownst to many, I have regular covert karaoke sessions on my commute to work. I drive an SUV with no tint on the windows, which means I'm afforded about as much cover as a fishbowl. Moreover, I possess none of the externally obvious signs that would indicate that I deserve to be rocking out like it's nobody's business (e.g. I don't care what you think musician outfit, “cool” ethnicity, etc.). Therefore I must daily find a way to perform my latest hits without the hundreds of people I see in traffic noticing. So I improvise. At the stop light, if I pull up in between the two cars in the next lane over, neither of them can really tell what I'm doing. Rock on my friend. If I can't hit one of those sweet spots between cars, I might just do every other line ...wishin they was dancin a jig... ciga-cigar right from Cuba-Cu-ba ... They might think they saw something, do a double take, but loo

What's preaching worth?

In some areas of the world, Christians still risk their lives and/or possessions for their faith. They fear angry mobs who will burn their churches, vigilantes who will punish them for believing and authorities who will either aid the locals or persecute the Christians themselves. For these Christians, church is not a social function. Church is a risk to life and livelihood. For the preacher, he risks not just his own life but he also endangers those who come to listen. For this preacher, every sermon must be worth prison, every sermon must be worth provoking the wrath of this world. He must ask himself every time, "Is this worth my life? Is this worth my congregation's life?" Why should our sermons be any different? I fear no angry mob, does it mean my sermons can be cheap? I fear no persecution, so does that mean I can spend my time giving anecdotes instead of the word of God? Just being called to be heralds of the king should sober and embolden us on its own. But rec

Finding God in an Orange

So I'm eating this orange. This juicy, delicious, liquid ball of orange juice. And I can't help but ask: Why? Why should this fantastic piece of fruit taste so good? Why doesn't it taste completely ordinary and bland? Why doesn't it taste boring and gritty, like a mouthful of the dirt from which it sprang? You could answer that this orange has developed its appealing taste because that taste helps it to get eaten by animals, have its seeds spread far and wide and grow lots of other orange trees. Okay, fine. I'm glad you got that out of your system. But how about this: That orange is one more proof that God made a creation that is delightful. And even though money still doesn't grow on trees, guess what? This stuff does. A creation that is beautiful, and not just a creation that is useful. Take sunsets too. When was the last time you sat down and watched the sun set? Maybe you could care less. Maybe you're too busy. Maybe you have a hard tim