Brand New

It's incredible how this time of year our attentions are turned to newness. A new year, a new start, new hope, new expectations and for many new resolutions. There is something exciting about realizing that we are at the beginning of something new. We have such excitement about the new year even though if you think about it, what has really changed? 12:00 turned to 12:01 like any other day, Friday turned to Saturday like any other week, December turned to January like any other month but because we are told by the calendar it is a new year we have new expectations. For so many around the globe there was no change because for their calendar it's not a new year. But for us it's all new.

I think about this because I wonder how much excitement, hope, expecation and resolution we as Christ followers have with the truth of our newness in Christ promised in 2 Corinthians 5:17 :

 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!

The definitive declaration that the new IS here is the concept that should so grasp us and fill us with hope and expectation. You see coming to Christ, a true heartfelt acknowledgement of Him as Lord, initiates a Holy Spirit renewal of everything in us. It should change your values, change your perspective, change your heart, change your thoughts and your life. A newness that brings with it real transformation that empowers us to live by the Spirit not encumbered by the flesh. Look at the verses preceeding this famous verse:

15 And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for Him who died for them and was raised again.   16 So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer.

Specifically, the newness that comes by our completion in Christ is that we no longer live for ourselves, pursuing the things of the flesh, looking to self satisfaction and self gratification but we live for Him who died and was raised again. Our focus, our efforts are so Christ is lifted up and glorified.

My hope is that as you look forward to the expectation of the new year may you live in the reality of your new life, purchased by the blood of Christ and empowered by the very power of God, the Holy Spirit.  May we live that His name, His work, His Church be advanced in 2011.