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Made new through Christ

Pastor Ryan Black – Cedar Springs Christian Church

As we end one year and look to a new one, we pause to take inventory. In a rare moment of reflection and honest self-assessment, we admit our failures. We pledge to learn from them and move toward a better future. We all want to be better, to live our lives more fully and to love one another more selflessly. So, we make resolutions. The question is—why do we do it? I suggest that they reveal something of our deepest longing. They present us with an invitation to exercise our human freedom and to choose a better way of life. But, we cannot do it on our own. We need God.

Jesus can make all things new within us, and then continues His work of making all things new through us. Even though our human freedom was fractured by sin, the splint of the wood of the Cross is the lasting and life changing remedy which brings healing to the wound. Jesus alone can fulfill the desire which is really at the heart of the New Year’s celebrations, and help us, by His saving grace, to make them become reality.

I pray we may all find the fullness of grace and the new beginning which comes through entering into a living relationship with the One who makes all things new, Jesus the Christ. (Rev. 21:5) There is a universal longing in every human heart to be made new, to begin again, because the Holy Spirit prompts it. It leads us back to the One who created us and who can re-create us through Jesus Christ. 

In and through Jesus Christ, there is a path to being made new. He walked that path up the mountain of Golgotha, and through the tomb to the Resurrection. That promise of being made new, being born again, is at the heart of the Gospel, the Good News! Paul reminded the Christians in the City of Corinth and reminds every one of us “whoever is in Christ is a new creation: the old things have passed away; behold, new things have come” (2 Cor. 5:17).

New Year’s Day is a global existential moment, ready with anticipation and expectations. It invites a spiritually liberating time of reflection, offers us hope for change and invites us to make new choices. Resolutions can become reality, when we turn to the One who makes it possible, the One who truly makes all things new, Jesus Christ the Lord. Our choices make us become the persons we become. In our choosing we not only have the potential to change the world around us, we change ourselves. In 2019, may we choose to live our lives in, with and for Jesus Christ. That is the way to turn those resolutions into reality and experience a real New Year.

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