New Year, New Plans, New You
by Phillip Greene
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” Romans 12:1, 2 (KJV)
With the New Year beginning, I got to thinking about resolutions and how many of us make them, but they rarely make it through the first month. When many make resolutions, it involves a dramatic change to their lives; a change to habits or diet.
One thing that always seems to happen is a drastic effort to start the year, an effort to attack this new plan they have with zeal. Many lose sight of their goals early on due to the lack of instant results. They lose the zeal to fight for their goals when a small setback comes their way.
Face it, we’ve all found ourselves evaluating our lives at the end of each year, wondering what we could have done to make our lives better and figuring new ways to improve ourselves.
With the passing of each year comes the passing of old ways. Many make resolutions in an effort to succeed in the coming months. There are those who plan to lose weight, those that are dead set on starting that new workout plan, and those that vow to make little improvements in their daily life.
The Christian life is one that is similar to the coming of a new year. In the years of our lives, we face a new year when we accept Jesus as our personal Savior. The old is passing away to the new, and our resolution is simple…to become like Christ!
“28And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. 29For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.” Romans 8:28-30 (NIV)
This statement to the Romans by Paul tells us as Christians that we all have the same “New Year’s” resolution. God calls us His children; he has known each of us since we were in our mother’s womb. David tells us in Psalm 134 who was foreknown –
“13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. 14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” Psalm 139:13-14 (NIV)
So we know that God has made the resolution for us, and Paul tells us what that is letting us know is that we are to be conformed to the likeness of Jesus, and we are called, justified, and glorified according to his will. So this year make the resolution to be what God has called you to be…. put away the old, and let this new come in.
“17Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” 1 Corinthians 5:17 (NIV)
I want to encourage you to take inventory and set spiritual goals. What are your plans to further the Kingdom of God in 2020?
Continue in Romans chapter 12, starting in verse 9 where we see the marks of a servant: “Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good. Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another; Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord; Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer; Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality. Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not. Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep. Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits. Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.” Romans 12:9-21 (KJV)
Look over this list and look deep within your heart to see if you have goals for your Christian walk that coincide with these marks.
Get your fire burning in 2020. Fan the flames and let the Lord work through you to accomplish your goals and turn your heart over to the King of Kings.
What will you do for the Lord in 2020?
Phillip Greene has been Pastor at Newland Christian Church since 2016. He has been Station Manager at Glory1130 in Newland since 2012 and is active in the local community as a Coach and Public Address Announcer for Avery Athletics. You can access Newland’s sermons online at www.newlandchristianchurch.com/sermons or an archive of his articles at phillipgreene.wordpress.com