The resolution your heart wants to make
Worship is perhaps the most foundational part of a quality time alone with God.
As we begin a brand new year, we’re going to explore what it looks like to create New Year’s resolutions that matter. Many of us feel the pressure to make changes that will positively impact our lives, yet we often struggle to find sustainable resolutions that are truly valuable. But God, in his love, promises to make us new creations when we surrender ourselves to him and his plans. So as we dive into this brand new year, let’s explore what it looks like to receive this great gift of transformation today. Today we’ll continue our week looking at the foundation of a quality time alone with God by looking at the value of worship. Worship is perhaps the most foundational part of a quality time alone with God. It takes what can so often be a self-centered time, and empowers us to put God, with all his love and goodness, right at the center of our time instead.
“Happy New Year!”
We all share this sentiment with our friends and families as each new year begins, but those words, or at least their equivalents, were first spoken by the ancient Babylonians around four thousand years ago. Yet fast-forward to today and New Year’s Day is the most universal of all holidays, celebrated by people of all religions and cultures around the world.
When I think of new years, I often think of making resolutions. And even this tradition, as old as the holiday itself, was invented by the Babylonians. Their most popular New Year’s resolution was to return borrowed farm equipment (which is not a resolution I’ve ever needed to make). But like them and like most people, I have typically begun each year by making resolutions.
In that spirit, let’s begin our new year by making the resolution your heart most wants to make.
Many years ago, I came across Bob Buford’s bestselling book, Halftime: Changing Your Game Plan from Success to Significance. That was the first time I understood the difference between the two. Success is for now; significance is forever. Success is fleeting; significance is transcendent.
You and I were made for significance. We were made to outlive ourselves, to leave a legacy beyond ourselves. As we begin this year, there is something in us that wants this year to matter when the year is done. But there’s only one pathway of true significance.
The Apostle Paul declared, “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come” (2 Corinthians 5:17). This promise is for you—no matter the guilt you may carry from the past, challenges you face in the present, or the fears you have for the future.
The moment you choose to be “in Christ,” which means to have a personal relationship with Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you become a “new creation.” You are “born again,” as Jesus said in John 3:3.
Now you have the honor of helping someone else experience the same grace. God made you for this simple purpose: to know Christ and to make him known. Everything else is a means to this end.
There is nothing you can do to make God love you any more than he already does. But there’s a catch: this gift of God must be received. Like Christmas presents under the tree, the gift of salvation must be opened.
Have you opened your gift yet? Are you a “new creation”? Have you been “born again”? Do you remember the day when you asked Jesus to forgive your sins and failures and turned your life over to him as your Savior and Lord?
If not, why not today?
If you are a new creation in Christ, begin the new year by seeking to know him and to make him known. Allow his presence and his word to heal and transform you as you get to know him more deeply this year. This is the path of true significance.
And it’s the resolution your heart most wants to make today.
today’s devotional is written by Jim Denison
1. Meditate on the gift of this new year. Allow God’s word to stir in you gratitude for the gift of life:
“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change” (James 1:17).
2. If you are not certain you have trusted in Christ as your Savior, make this commitment now. And if you have, reaffirm your trust in him today. There is no one prayer you must pray to become a Christian, but if you pray these words from your heart, God will hear you and make you a new creation.
“Dear Lord, thank you for loving me. Thank you that Jesus died on the cross to pay for my sins. I turn from them now and ask you to forgive me for them. I give my life to you, trusting you as my Lord and Savior. I will live for you as long as I live. Thank you for hearing me and for making me your child today.”
And if you prayed this prayer for the first time, please share this wonderful news with a Christian friend so they can help you find a church family and grow in your new faith.
3. Surrender your life and this new year to God’s leadership. Ask him to guide your life each day and to use you to make him known to the world.
“Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31).
When you receive a special gift, you want to share the news. Eternal life is, of course, the greatest gift of all.
Do you know someone who, to your knowledge, does not have a personal salvation relationship with Jesus? Would you begin praying for them by name? Would you share your faith story with them?
Changed lives change lives. Knowing Christ and making him known is the greatest privilege in life. Will you make this your resolution this year?
Extended reading: John 3
Knowing Christ and making him known is the greatest privilege in life.