Let me assure you, right off the bat— this is not another article about New Year’s resolutions. By the way, I think making resolutions are good. Anyone who determines that they need to change something in their lives, whether physical, financial, relational or spiritual is a very good thing. The problem, of course, is sustainability. That’s right— sticking with them. Which is what has taken the appeal and credibility away from them.
For a resolution to be worth something, it has to resonate within the heart and mind. For Christians, especially, this is where true change— where true transformation occurs. We’re reminded by the apostle Paul, “Not to conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is— His good, pleasing and perfect will” (Romans 12:2). But what’s interesting, is that while God expects us to be transformed—to be changed, becoming more like Jesus, which is His will for us, He Himself does not change. “Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). In fact, it is because He does not change that we could trust Him and rely on His promises, as we grow we allow Him to transform us from the inside out. (Hebrews 13:5; 2 Peter 3:9; also Numbers 23:19; Malachi 3:6).
So, as transformation occurs in the heart and mind, we need to examine what areas God can and will change if we trust Him. Here are four “NEW WHAT?” statements that go with this article’s title- New Possibilities, New Path, New Perspective, New Purpose. This article will address the first two.
New Year, New Possibilities. That’s right, the Lord has told us, “With God, all things are possible” (Matt 19:26). Paul reminds us that “I could do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Phil 4:13). In fact, on the flip side, Jesus said, “apart from me, you could do nothing” (John 15:5). So with Him, we can do ALL things—without Him, nothing, or NO THINGS. So there we have it. The possibilities are limitless with God as we trust and yield to Him (Ephesians 3:20).
New Year, New Path. Many people can relate to life being like a path. In fact, this is wonderfully illustrated in 2 Timothy 3:16-17, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” First we have teaching— Scripture tells us the right path to be on in the first place. Second is reproof— this tells us when we fall off the path. Third is correction— telling us how to get us back to the path. Fourth is training— helping us to stay on the path. Further, these verses tell us what Scripture is profitable for, which is all we need for every good work. Don’t miss this— without regular intake of the Word of God, our chances of knowing and staying on the right path for our lives is severely diminished. More on getting into the Word this New Year can be found HERE.
-Pastor Joe Garofalo
Check back next week for the other two ‘NEW WHAT?’ statements- “New Perspective” and “New Purpose.”