Devotional

“The terrible thing, the almost impossible thing, is to hand over your whole self — all your wishes and precautions — to Christ.” – C.S. Lewis 

Well, it’s that time of year again. A new year is right around the corner. This is the time of year so many of us start making resolutions to change a certain area or multiple areas in our lives. Maybe we have some extra pounds to shed. We might be committed to changing a specific, harmful behavior. New Year’s resolutions range from simple desires to seemingly full-proof plans for extensive life change. What we all have in common is the hope that something will change, and life will be different and hopefully better in the new year ahead.

But usually, those resolutions are short-lived. This may be our first attempt at making real change in our lives. Or maybe we have been trying for years. This may be the second, third, fourth, or 15th year someone has tried to “kick the habit.” After so many attempts, why would they even want to try again? It is at those times when we need to remember that Christ was born, He Died and He did rise again. That means that the new year is filled with hope for a better future — in Him.  

When we desire change, we have the perfect example to follow: Jesus Christ. When we are ready to implement change, we have the perfect guidebook: His Word. Finally, we have the perfect companion to strengthen our resolve: His Spirit. We truly can experience freedom in our lives today, tomorrow, and forever. With Christ, we don’t have to wait for another New Year to roll around, or for the beach ball to drop in Pier Park. We can pursue our own new beginning right now.

This can be the year when you don’t leave Jesus behind, but instead, you go looking for Him. This can be the year when you make your relationship with God a priority. This can be the year when your relationship with God comes off the “I’ll get around to it” list, and instead defines that list.

Take some time to think about the past year, to think about your relationship with God, and to think about what you want for that relationship in the coming year. And then, think of one or two ways that you will commit to making it stronger.  

May this year be one of great spiritual growth for you. May it be one where you learn to be like Jesus, and never fail to see Him for who He is, and what He is doing. May it be one where God does new things in your life, not just on one day, but on all of them. And may it be one where you resolve to love God and love others.  

Discussion Questions:

  1. New Year’s resolutions typically don’t last too long. What happens? How do our good intentions derail so easily? Should Christians even engage in setting goals?
  2. Why does it mean to put God first in a goal? What spiritual goals should you make in 2022?