I try not to fall into the trap of “new year, new me”, although I do find that the 1st day on the calendar is always a good starting point for any en devour. But in my experience, it sometimes takes several times “starting anew” before I can wholeheartedly make something a habit. The hardest thing for me has been sacrificing the instant gratification that comes with indulging in desires of my flesh. But despite my inability to be as committed to loving God in my actions as He is to me, His choice to love me is still eternal. And because of this amazing, grace filled fact, I don’t have to present myself as a new version of myself every year, or every time I fall short of the person God is calling me to be.
For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
– Romans 8:38-39ESV
I don’t have to be a “new” me with every year because what I really desire is to be better, a version of me that more closely resembles who God created me to be. While becoming that person, I have acquired some scars which remind me of the times when I was off track, unfocused, or blatantly disobedient. Those reminders help me readily recognize when I need to diligently seek God instead of allowing myself to pull away. The periods of hurt and brokenness that I have experienced led me closer to God and the scars remind me of why I want to be close to Him.
God’s gift of salvation through Jesus provides the opportunity for us to live a life based on how good God is, instead of how “good” I think I am. This does not give me a pass to continue living my life contrary to God’s will, nor does it excuse me from the consequences of choosing my flesh over God’s word. But the comfort found in knowing God’s love is unconditional and unending should make it easier to readily go to Him when I do mess up. I don’t mean just “asking for forgiveness” and keeping it moving, but openly pouring out my heart to Him, acknowledging that I have done wrong, I am broken and I need Him to restore me to the condition I was in when my life was focused on Him.
As your week starts, I pray you remember God’s love is unconditional, and there is nothing you can do about it. Even if things seem to be going wrong and more challenges are arising than you think you can handle, God still loves you and will continue to do so. Happy Monday and Happy New Year!!!
For what can a man give in return for his soul? – Mark 8:37ESV
Grace and peace