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Thursday, January 1, 2009

The Only Way to a New Start

I tore down the ratty, marked-up calendar and replaced it with a fresh clean one for 2009. Just like everyone else in America, I celebrated the end of 2008 last night and welcomed in a brand new year filled with fresh hopes and new resolutions. The financial sector is ready for a new year and so are the politicians. Dieters and smokers embrace the New Year as an opportunity to knock those bad habits, certain that THIS time around they’ll do a better job of sticking to their resolutions.

A new start seems to bring out the best in all of us, the best intentions, that is. This year, I’ll be a more loving wife. This year, I’ll eat healthy, exercise regularly and cut out caffeine. This year, I’ll stop yelling at the kids or procrastinating at work, or being late everywhere I go. This year, I’ll make a good healthy dinner every night, watch less television, and read more educational books.

This year, I’ll be a better person.

Except, it doesn’t work that way. No matter how hard we try to muster up the strength, pull ourselves up by the bootstraps, and discipline ourselves into submission, we run up against the same walls each year. January starts out looking good, but by February, we’ve already forgotten our resolutions and given up the battle altogether.

But, I really do want to be a better person this year than I was last year. So, is there any hope for me? I relate so deeply to the words of the song from Casting Crown’s CD, The Altar and the Door,

Lord, this time I’ll make it right, here at the altar I lay my life –
Your kingdom come but my will was done, my heart is broken as I….
Cry, like so many times before – But my eyes are dry before I leave the floor,
Oh Lord – I try but this time, Jesus, how can I be sure I will not lose my follow through – Between the altar and the door.

Great intentions become great disappointments, as Romans 7 well documents. I want to be who God created me to be, but I keep getting in the way. Then, I open up the Word of truth and see that there is hope for us all and there is a way to make this year better than the one before, but it’s not the way I imagined.

Romans 3:21-24
But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made
known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness from God
comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference,
for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely
by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.

Galatians 2:20
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in
me
. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me
and gave himself for me.


Oh Lord, that 2009 would be a year where I experience more of Your grace, a year where I walk in faith, a year where Your righteousness is known in me. May each new day bring reminders that I am crucified with You and that You live through me.

Points to Ponder:
1. In what ways do you want to be a “better person” this year?
2. What does it look like to die to self and let Christ live in you? How do you do that practically?
3. Instead of focusing on how you can be better this year, make this a year to allow Christ to live through you, by consciously giving Him more of your life.


Come visit me...

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5 Comments:

Blogger Denise said...

God bless your 2009.

January 1, 2009 at 4:43 AM  
Blogger Ruth A Stiles said...

that was a WONDERFUL post. It was very thought provoking. I didn't make any resolutions 'so to say' this year...I, like you wrote, want to become a better person for the Master to mold into an even greater work of art for His eternaly gallery!
Happy New Year and God bless

January 1, 2009 at 8:39 AM  
Blogger Julie said...

Heather, You are so right....

I loved this post...

Thanks for sharing your heart!

Julie

January 1, 2009 at 5:20 PM  
Blogger Jeff and Kim said...

So true, so true. I find myself getting in the way of God's will for my life A LOT. Most of my resolutions for 2009 involve drawing closer to Him and seeking His will. Or better put, staying out of His way. :)

Be blessed in the new year!
Kim

January 2, 2009 at 6:03 AM  
Blogger MICHELE's BLOG said...

YA'ALL BLESS MY HEART! YOU KEEP ME RACING FOR MY WONDERFUL PRIZE, IN OUR LORD JESUS...GOD BLESS

January 2, 2009 at 1:08 PM  

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