By Amy Groeschel
Every new year, I say the same thing: I can’t believe it’s already 20__! The first days of January truly set the tone for the upcoming 364 days. Resolutions are made while the holiday gear is packed away (well, hopefully!). Our hearts reflect on what was and look forward to what may be. Some of you may think, “Yada-yada-yada. Here we go again. Same song, same verse.”
I truly hope this is not your attitude! Like our nightly sleep and Sabbath rest, this cyclical event is a true gift from God!
I want to share with you three reasons why (from the Scripture text of Philippians 3:7-14) I love a new year’s start.
First, let’s take a look at Paul’s words in the Scripture:
But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.
Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers (and Sisters), I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
WHY I LOVE A NEW YEAR
IT’S A FRESH START IN PURSUING TO KNOW GOD
Not only did Paul want to grow in His relationship with God, he desired to know and participate in His power, and share Christ’s sufferings. Honestly, I’m all in with Paul until the suffering part. I certainly do not mind suffering for my Savior, but I cannot really say that it’s one of my top desires. But hey, that was me last year! This year I can choose to lean in further, press in harder, and depend on Him more than ever before! My/our highest goal of this year (and every year) should be to know God more intimately. That’s why the first six months of our weekly 2016 SISTERS BLOG will focus on pursuing to know God. Make sure you subscribe so you don’t miss out on a single week!
I CAN FORGET THE PAST
For me, 2015 was full of God’s blessings! Our eldest daughter was married to her best friend, Andrew. We saw the people in our church grow spiritually and thousands more accepted Christ. Most of our loved ones were healthy and my marriage was in top-notch shape. But there were also some days of sadness and disappointment. Our Grandpa Jack passed away, two daughters needed surgery, some close friends divorced, and I owed more love than I gave out. I’m not sure how the year 2015 went for you, but I am sure that we are all called to move on down the road. God has new things in store for us! Let’s not dwell on past mishaps, struggles, or successes. Today, right now, is the day the Lord has given us. What will we do with it?
I CAN PASSIONATELY PRESS ON
Paul was pressing on toward a specific goal – the prize of gaining Christ’s eternal rewards. He knew that pursuing the passions of this world amounted to less than nothing… a total loss. He basically said that everything he had gained in terms of the world’s standard was a bunch of crap (Really. See Philippians 3:8). His goal was Christ.
What about you? What goal(s) are you pursuing? What resolutions did you make?
Do they benefit and strengthen your faith and ability to follow Christ Jesus?
If you are trying to lose the holiday-gained, extra pounds and get in good, physical shape, make sure that you seek God for balance in this. If you are trying to succeed in a new endeavor, consider where pride, greed, or vanity could become a problem with your goals.
The idea is to not be counterproductive with our desire to know God more. Ask God to search your heart and motives so that in whatever you do it is for His glory and purposes.
We can celebrate that 2016 is here! We have a fresh start to passionately pursue God, forget the past, and press forward towards the ultimate gain – citizenship in Heaven with our wonderful Savior.
HAPPY NEW YEAR, SISTERS… AGAIN!