"He who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it."
This time when we are looking to the new year brings hope for change. A better year than last year. Lose weight. Stop those nagging addictions. Exercise and eat healthy. Be better organized. Love better. Hopefully, sin less.
I can tell you that I don't see true and lasting change come by making New Year's Resolutions. We start out with a bang and then the old patterns seep back in. We get tired of trying harder to be better. We give up and give in.
The change that I see in my life comes through in several ways:
Time spent in the presence of the Lord ... Through prayer, meditation, and receiving His love for me. Letting His word be written on my heart. The ongoing communion, unbroken union, and reliance on the person of Christ and the Love of the Father, bring about a likeness. Faith. Trust. A rest in Christ. A relationship like no other. A delighting and enjoying the Trinity.
Daily repentance ... It is a turning from independence to dependence on God. A dying to my will and pride and growing in desiring His will and humility. It is like walking: repentance/faith, left foot/right foot. This can be a slow change or it can more quickly be life changing. I have a change of mind or heart through the work of the Spirit in me. What I believe affects everything I do.
Experiences ... Good experiences, but also through experiences of suffering. Suffering is a training. It brings wisdom, thankfulness, strength in weakness, joy and peace in all circumstances. A longing for Christ and not the things of this world. You tire of having your own way in your own strength. It breaks you, humbles you, gives you a contrite heart. It teaches you what is important in life and what is fleeting with the things to be left behind. You identify with Christ. Your life brings Glory to God.
Influence ... We not only influence others but others influence us. We see their example and make a conscious decision whether to be like them or not.
Living in the moment ... Not that I don't plan, but I don't want to waste today waiting for a tomorrow that never comes. Neither do I want to live in regret of a yesterday I can do nothing about.
The truth of the gospel in our everyday life ... Through Christ's life, death, and resurrection, we have the same power that raised Christ from the dead. He left His Spirit so that He might live His life through us.
There is always change for the worse or for the better. Because of God and His grace and faithfulness to us...we change for the better.