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Where are you going in this New Year?

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“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” ~ 2 Corinthians 5:17

“Where have you come from and where do you want to go?” (Genesis 16:7-8), God asked a person who was running away this question. It is my favorite devotional thought as I approach the threshold of a new year.

When you have reflected on an old year and been filled with resolute thoughts about a new year, have you ever had the thought, “I can’t stand another year, or a decade of years, like the years I’ve been having?” If you have, this is a good New Years devotional thought for you.

This question implies that if we do not have a crisis that changes things, we’re headed for more years like the years we’ve been experiencing. The most important change we actually need, therefore, is that we be changed ourselves.

The Bible tells us that when the leopard can change the color of her spots, then we who are accustomed to messing things up are going to start getting it right (Jeremiah 13:23). Though that means we’ll never be able to get things right by ourselves, the good news is that we can meet certain conditions and then be changed by God (John 6:47; Ephesians 2:8-10).

It is possible for God to give us an experience that Jesus called being “born again.” When that happens to us we’re told that we are a new creation. Old things have passed away. All things have become new and all this is done by God – not by us.

So we’re not doomed to go where we have come from, we are not doomed to continue going through life on a negative path, because we can be born again. Moreover, the how question (“How can my life’s direction change?”) is answered in one word; that word is “BELIEVE!”

“Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” ~ Romans 6:4

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned~ John 3:16-18

Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. ~ John 5:24

Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life. ~ John 6:47

Adapted from Where are you going in this new year? by Dick Woodward.

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    • Hi Nancy;

      Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing. Your company is always welcome. 🙂

      You are right, but it is so hard sometimes to accept the changes our God, The Master Gardener, makes in our lives as He prunes and reshapes us. I can feel His clippers active in my life right now!!! (sigh).

      I hope all is well, and will be well, with you and your lovely family, as you usher in a New Year of challenges and growth.

  1. Dear RitW, what a nice way of tying new year and new life! Thank you for a poetic and concise description of salvation — in a word, inspiring.
    I also find something interesting here and would like to clarify: You (or Dick Woodward) say that if a person is “born again,” “all this is done by God — not by us.” Yet you also say that in order to be changed by God we, humans, must “meet certain conditions” — namely, “believe.” This makes good sense to me if we were to remove the word “all” from the first statement. Are you saying that salvaton — of which conversion, metanoia, being born again are anticipatory experiences — is in a sense a collaborative effort between a soul and God in which the human participates by opening his heart to God through faith and God participates (and completes) by reaching into the human heart through grace? Are you saying that a gift cannot be given if it’s not accepted? If so, this gives us a stage-setting but active role in our own salvation. God’s stage hands. 🙂 Or were you going somewhere else with this?

    • Hi Maria Catherine,

      The article is by Dick Woodward (and is linked to his site), a pastor I enjoyed listening to over the radio, when he had a radio programme. And we concur on the points he made in this article.

      To answer your question: you are exactly correct! 🙂

      As you (to the best of my understanding/knowledge) correctly interpreted:

      “salvation.. is in a sense a collaborative effort between a soul and God in which the human participates by opening his heart to God through faith and God participates (and completes) by reaching into the human heart through grace”

      Only wish i could have expressed it as poetically as you have.

      Again, THANKS, so much for sharing.

      God bless!!!

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