How many times have we resolved that this year was going to be different? And then we proceeded to make a list of all the things we were going to do differently, starting January 1, to ensure that things would change this year? And how many of us have made it to March with these resolves….if we’re lucky?
I want us to think for a few minutes about how 2019 can be different. Because I believe that it can. I believe we can start the year with purpose and make some lasting changes in our lives. But that won’t come with a list of resolutions, things we are bound and determined to do right this year.
I was tempted to start such a list. Lose weight. Read my Bible more. Spend less time on my phone. Read the books on my bookshelf. Invest in others better. This list was starting to stress me out. And the more I thought about it, the more I realized that I was on a path to fizzle out before I even got started. Forget making it to March!
So I started thinking about what all of these things had in common. Then it hit me. As I thought through my plans, I heard myself say “This is all stuff I’ve talked about, but just never got off my lazy butt and actually did.” The common link was that I was putting no action to my words. So, I resolved that 2019 was going to be a year that I acted upon the things I’d been planning to do. A year of ACTION. One over-arching theme for my year seemed so much more manageable than a whole list of do’s and don’ts.
So I want you to think about your expectations and hopes for the new year. What one word encompasses what you hope to accomplish? Maybe it’s…
Now that you have your 2019 theme word, let’s do something with it. Let’s take it to the One who can give us the strength to actually let it influence our 2019. Because, I don’t know about you, but all those other years that I’ve had lists of things I want to accomplish, I’ve rolled up my sleeves and declared that I was going to make changes. I was going to do things differently and be a better me. But the crazy thing is, I’m not that motivated. I’m too distracted. Too lazy. So relying on my own gumption is what caused me to fizzle out by March. Who am I kidding…more like February.
So this year, I’m going to take my little one word anthem, lay it at the feet of someone a lot stronger than me. Because it’s only when I come to God for strength that I can really make changes in my life. This year, my prayer is that God would take my desire to take action and use it. That He could tell me where I need to take action and give me the courage to do it even when it’s hard. I can’t go wrong if I’m taking action God’s way and using His strength to do it.
So will you take your 2019 word and give it to Him? Let Him help you? Many of us have given our lives to Christ, maybe many years ago. But this year, will you resolve to give him your will? Let Him be the One that takes our resolve to be better, more godly people and put His strength behind it.
Some of you reading this think that sounds absurd. Why would I want to give up my will to someone else? Take a moment and think through your life. Sometimes life lived your way has worked, but many times it hasn’t. We all make bad decisions that have lasting impact on our lives. We haven’t always lived the lives that we know we should have. I know my own will isn’t always enough to do things the right way in life.
But there is good news! The God of the universe loved you enough to send His perfect, never messed up Son to this world to pay the punishment for the wrong things that you and I do. That punishment was a horrific, slow death. But Jesus was more powerful than that death. He only stayed dead three days before he came back to life, showing that He ultimately conquers death and sin.
If you’re going to commit your life and will, or even just one year of your life to someone…committing it to the person who can conquer death seems like a pretty smart move to me. If that sounds at all appealing to you, grab a friend who knows Jesus and ask them about it. Or contact me on here…I love to tell people about my amazing Savior!
So as 2019 approaches, take a look at your theme word. Are you willing to turn that over to God and let Him have control over your life this year? Are you willing to listen to Him and let Him guide you into a year that could be more than you’ve ever imagined it could be?
“Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations forever and ever. Amen!”