Summary: Every year we fail to fulfill our New Year’s resolutions to change something in our lives because we are trying to change the wrong things for the wrong reasons. God wants us to be conformed into the image of His Son Jesus, and our resolutions, commitmen
IT’S A NEW YEAR
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
Here we are on the first Sunday of 2005. It’s a new year! And that is the title for today’s message: ‘It’s a New Year’. How many of you made New Year’s resolutions for 2005? Every year people make New Year’s resolutions and almost without exception, we fail to fulfill those resolutions. The top ten resolutions that people make are:
1. Lose weight
2. Stop smoking
3. Stick to a budget
4. save or earn more money
5. Find a better job
6. Become more organized
7. exercise more
8. be more patient
9. Eat better
10. Become a better person
Every year we make these same resolutions and yet we often fail to even begin the process of doing these things.
Many of these things are exactly what we ought to be doing and yet we can’t seem to get ourselves together so that we can accomplish those good things. Are we missing something? Are we approaching this wrong? Years ago, I stopped making resolutions. Not because I was perfect, but because I knew I wasn’t going to follow through with those things.
A resolution is a declaration to ourselves or to the world that we are going to change something about ourselves that we feel needs to be changed.
There are some things in our lives that we absolutely need to deal with. Some people are dragging around sinful habits that they know they need to be rid of and they have made resolutions to do that this year. But how are they going to have any more chance of success this year than they did last year?
Some things we need to deal with for our health. At my last check-up, my doctor said that my triglycerides were way too high. I could make a resolution to lower my triglycerides. This is important because it affects my health. How am I going to be any more successful at doing it this year than I was the last time my doctor told me that?
One of my favorite verses is Romans 12:2.
Read Romans 12:2 page 600
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
The problem for most people is not the resolutions that they are making, but the reasons why they are making them. For me to have any chance of achieving the results that I desire in my life, it must start by first changing the way that I think.
Philippians tells us that:
Read Philippians 2:5 page 620
Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.
For us to achieve any kind of success in doing the things in our life that we really want to do, we must start by making a change in our minds. We have got to renew our minds. That means that we have to empty out all of the things that the world puts into our mind and replace it with the mind of Christ.
Turn to Ephesians 2. For us to begin to understand how we can make real changes in our lives we must first understand who we are. Only by understanding who we are do we have any chance of making changes.
Read Ephesians 2:1-3 page 617 Bible
Before Christ we were spiritually dead because of our sins. This entitled us to spend all eternity separated from God. We conducted ourselves just like the rest of the world. By our very nature we deserved to receive the wrath of God. That is who we were before Jesus saved us.
Read Ephesians 2:4-7 page 617 Bible
Because of the grace of God, He poured out His mercy upon us. He didn’t pour out His wrath on us like we deserved, but instead showed His incredible love for us that, as Romans says, He loved us even though we were still sinners, he sent Jesus to die for us.
And that changed our spiritual place from being spiritually dead to being made alive ‘in Christ’. Our new spiritual position is ‘in Christ’. That means that spiritually speaking, we are not going to heaven some day. We are seated in Heaven right now with Jesus Christ.
This is one of the most powerful concepts in the Christian faith. Because of our position in Christ we have at our disposal all of the mighty things of God.
Read Ephesians 1:3 page 617 Bible
Everything that we need is available to us, just for the asking. Well you might ask that if that is true, why my life is missing so much of what I need. Why do I not feel the power of Christ flowing through my life?