We don’t need resolutions – we need a new life

Christmas is over, and as 2014 draws to close we look forward to a New Year. It’s that time of year when many people make New Year’s resolutions.

Some people make healthful resolutions, like resolving to eat less, exercise more or stop smoking. Some people make personal resolutions like resolving to be kinder and gentler, or to spend less and save more money. Perhaps you are a student and you are resolving to study more and work harder in order to get better grades.
Resolutions are great and no matter what your resolution for 2015 may be, I wish you all the best in your attempts to make yourself a better person. There is certainly nothing wrong with wanting to be a better person.
There’s only one problem with resolutions – they usually don’t last. Oh, sure, maybe a few of us will actually have enough resolve within us to actually see our resolution through to this time next year.
And the good news is that even if we do eventually fail to keep our resolution at some point in 2015, at least we will have made a little progress.
OK, so maybe I only lose 25 pounds instead of my goal, 50 pounds. Maybe you lose your temper only once in 2015 instead of once a month or once a week. Maybe you cut down to smoking just one cigarette per day instead of a pack each day.
At least we’ll make a little progress, and that’s a good thing.
But the real truth of the matter isn’t that we need better resolutions. And it’s really not a matter of making ourselves better people. What we really need is a new life.
The truth of the matter isn’t simply that we’ve formed bad habits. The truth of the matter is that we sin.
The Bible says every one of us is a sinner. Even the best of us has sinned at some time or another.
A lot of people seem to get really uncomfortable at that word “sin,” but all it really means is that we’ve lived our life our own way instead of God’s way.
And the problem with sin is that it separates us from God. When we are separated from God in our life, that is not a good place to be.
Eventually, sin separates us from God for eternity – that is even worse. This leaves all of us with a problem, how do we re-connect with God?
Many people will simply try to stop sinning, as if it were simply a New Year’s resolution. They think, “If my sin separated me from God, then I’ll just stop sinning and that will bring me back into God’s good graces.”  That’s a nice thought, but it doesn’t work.
First of all, like most New Year’s resolutions, we probably won’t get very far into the New Year before our resolve crumbles and we’ve broken our resolution.
Second, even if we do somehow manage to keep from sinning for a while, that won’t “make up” for the sin that we’ve already committed in the past. This whole condition of sin is much worse than we ever imagined. So how can we ever have a relationship with God?
Lucky for us, God wants to have a relationship with us, and He loves us enough to make a way for us. That is why He sent Jesus Christ.
When Jesus died on the cross He paid the penalty for all of our sin. He did what we could not do, no matter how resolved we may be.
And when He came back to life He proved that He is the only one who can pay for our sin.
So, really what we need is not a New Year’s resolution; what we need is a New Life.
So how do we get this new life?  It’s simple, we just ask for it. It’s as simple as A B C
A – Admit that you are a sinner.
B – Believe that Jesus paid for your sin.
C – Commit to living your life God’s way instead of your own.
Now, that is simple, but it isn’t easy. It’s not easy, because it means that we give up the right to live our life any way we see fit. It’s not easy, because it totally goes against our human nature. It’s not easy, because we want to be in control, instead of God.
But it’s the only way to have a New Life.
 

Rev. Dave Hall Grace Community Fellowship

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