Finding Faith: A new you for the new year!
By REV. DON GRANT
When I was a kid, one of my favorite TV shows was “The Six Million Dollar Man.” It was about an astronaut who nearly died in a terrible accident. The government stepped in and replaced his crushed body with bionic parts. The show’s opening said, “We can rebuild him. We have the technology. We can make him better than he was. Better… Stronger… Faster.”
Wouldn’t it be cool if you could be better than you were last year? If you could be a better Christian… a better husband or wife… a better mom or dad or child… a better boss or employee? If you could be more loving, more joyful, more at peace, more considerate, more disciplined, and more effective at making a difference? A new you?
Philippians 3:13-14 says: “Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”
Is it really possible to experience a new you in the new year? YES! That is exactly what God wants for you this New Year. God is in the life-transformation business. He has a plan and the means to change your life and make you more like Him in the way you act, react and live.
So, what is this plan?
Paul had a great desire in his heart to be “better, stronger, and faster.” He wanted to grow in His relationship with Christ. He wanted to be changed. In Philippians 3, Paul shared an important action plan that made a difference for him and will for you also. The action plan has two key steps.
1) FORGET WHAT LIES BEHIND
A. Have you been hurt in the past? Have people said bad things about you and done bad things to you? Join the club.
We all have had bad things happen to us in the past. The difference between winners and losers is this: winners let the pain from the past go. Losers hold on to it. God says LET IT GO. Give those hurts to Me so you can move on down the road.
B. Have you blown it in the past? Do you have major sins and failures in your past history that keep you feeling like a second-class citizen in the Kingdom of God?
Your sins, no matter how heinous, are no match for the blood of Jesus Christ! Confess all those sins to God. Get them out from the shadows of your heart and under this cleansing power of the sacrifice of Christ. Confess that sin to God and turn from that sin, and accept His complete and total forgiveness.
2) REACH FORWARD TO WHAT LIES AHEAD
God does not want us to live looking in the rear view mirror. He wants us to press on in Jesus’ name. He wants us to put our eyes on Jesus and seek Him with all our hearts. He wants us to keep going, even when the way is hard.
Have you been tempted to throw in the towel? Have you gotten knocked down and have yet to get up? The time is now to dust off the difficulties of the past and get back in the race. Press on toward the goal, toward the prize of pleasing the Lord and hearing Him say one day as you cross the finish line, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.”
2020 is a new year. God wants there to be a new you. This is within reach and definitely is God’s will and desire for you. Will you let go of the past? Will you get up from your fall? Will you go for the prize with all your heart? Ready … Start … Go!
Finding Faith is written by area pastors. This week’s column comes from Rev. Don Grant of Hillview Wesleyan Church, Flemington.