By the Lord’s amazing Grace, we find ourselves at the beginning of another New Year! 2019 is in front of us and once again we are asking the question; what will I do with it? By the way it’s a healthy question to ask. There is a lot to be said about making plans, commitments, promises and even the popular resolution for a new year. However, it is more difficult to look back and say we have kept them. Keeping any plan, commitment, promise or resolution requires that we embrace with our heart what is necessary to fulfill the expectations placed upon our life. Let’s spend some time on that thought.
Every year we make promises with the fullest intention of keeping them. Maybe we’re going to drop a few pounds, or quit smoking, or get away from immorality, maybe we’re going to get back in church or quit drinking or doing drugs. Having the best intention’s we too often find ourselves falling short, year in and year out. With it comes the feeling of being a failure. You let yourself down, maybe even your family, friends or a spouse. Why? Why do you fail? The Bible contains the answer, and some words of encouragement for you, please keep reading!
First, we must realize we don’t have what it takes to overcome the pitfalls of life. The pitfalls of life come from sin and within each one of us is a sin nature. Maybe you have never heard of that. Simply put we are born separated from God because of the inherited sin of Adam and Eve. We are told in Romans 3:10 “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:” and again in Romans 3:23 “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” we cannot within ourselves overcome the sin nature within us. That doesn’t mean we should give up and submit to sin. We should flee from it. Sin is from the devil and if we resist him, he will flee from us. There is the problem. We don’t necessarily want to resist sin. As a matter of fact, from birth sin is normal and acceptable and even welcome.
Second, as normal and acceptable as sin is we have to understand there is a consequence or penalty that comes with sin. Every one of us are headed for this penalty. Notice with me Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Sin has a death penalty. This death penalty is an eternal death, a death beyond our heartbeat. That isn’t very encouraging news to begin a New Year with, is it? If we stopped right here, we could find no hope and have no confidence moving into 2019, but the Bible continues so let’s continue in it! God has a gift. A payment for the penalty (consequence) of sin, a payment that takes the place of an eternal death. God offers eternal life as a substitute for eternal death. Think of it this way. We all have debt of some type, a house or car other large purchase. Suppose someone just stepped up and paid it all off and let you keep the purchase. How awesome would that be? You see we all were born with a sin debt that we could not pay.
Third, the eternal life that God offers was provided by Jesus Christ! Jesus paid the debt for our sin. Romans 5:8 “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Commendeth is an old English word that simply means God shows or displays, in this case His love. Even while we are living with a sin nature embedded in our lives and having no hope, Jesus died for you! He did this to prevent you from dying an eternal death. All the pleasures you may find in sin; for example, drinking, drugs, immorality, greed, lying, cheating. They are short lived pleasure, short lived because the end is death. It’s important to understand, we are not sinners because we sin, we sin because we are sinners! Jesus is the salvation of sinners.
Fourth, how does Jesus remedy our sin nature. I’m glad you ask! Your Bible tells you in Romans 10:9-10 “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. (10) For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” Simply put, confess and believe! Confess that Jesus and only Jesus can save you. There is no other person who can take the place of Jesus Christ as your savior. You must be willing to confess that. To confess Jesus as your savior you must believe that God did raise Jesus from the dead. That’s right, it’s no fairy tale. Jesus resurrection is a reality you must accept by faith, then by that same faith confess Jesus as the only forgiveness of sin, your sin!
This miracle is called being born again! Having this new life in Jesus Christ gives you His presence daily. That’s right, Christ lives within you. In that fact is the strength you need to fulfill your New Year resolutions. Whatever the challenge, commitment or resolution may be with Jesus in your life you will have what it takes to make the right decisions and you will have the faith to let God lead you to success His way in 2019! Accept Jesus as Lord and Savior for the New Year and find happiness and success you never imagined. Until next month may God keep you firmly in His grip!