New Year, New You

     2016 has almost come to a close! With a new year just around the corner, many of us are considering what our New Year's Resolutions will be. Many resolutions will be for self-improvement, or to make our families better. Some will be optimistic and far reaching. Others of us will make the same resolution we've made many many times before. Whether you're a fervent resolution maker, a seasoned resolution breaker, or a novice who's just beginning to figure out what your first new year's resolution should be, there's a Biblical principle we should keep in mind.

     "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!" 
2 Corinthians 5:17 (NIV)

     Many times, we as Christians are very focused on keeping up appearances and putting our 'holiest face' out to the world. The easiest way to do this is to cover up our struggles, to hide sin deep down inside and never address it. Sure, we'll call out others on the shortcomings we see in them, but we never admit to ourselves that we may not measure up. The true Christian calling, however, is not to clean up the outside, but to be made new in our innermost self. "The new creation has come," Paul said. We cannot live our lives facing each struggle in our own strength any longer. We weren't strong enough in the first place. Instead, we must daily put to death our old lifestyle and mentality.

     "You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness."
                                                                           Ephesians 4:22-24 (NIV)

     This year, let your resolutions not be to do things (or not do things) under your own power. Rather, let us put off our old selves and let the new creation in Christ Jesus come to the forefront. I'm banking on the new creation being a lot better at living out the Christian life than the old one could ever be!

Happy New Year!
-Pastor Josh