The calendar has flipped from 2017 to 2018, which means many people are three days into their New Year's resolution. (Many people have also lost their desire to keep going!)
Is change important? Is commitment essential? Of course! But the reality is that few individuals have made immediate and significant life changes because of a New Year's resolution.
Biblical Christianity, which has the gospel of Jesus Christ at the center, simply doesn't rest its hope in big moments of change. The fact of the matter is that the transforming work of grace is more of a mundane process.
Change typically takes place in ten thousand little moments, not one life-altering event.
The little moments of life are profoundly important precisely because they are the little moments. We live most of our existence in these mundane, everyday moments. For every huge life-changing moment, we experience ten thousand insignificant moments.
The beautiful thing about the gospel is that Jesus Christ offers grace for each of these little moments. The Bible doesn't say, "His mercies are new once a year." No, "His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning." (Lamentations 3:22-23)
Jesus is named Emmanuel, not just because he came to earth once, but because he makes you the place where he dwells every day. This means he is present and active in all the mundane moments of your daily life.
In these small moments, he is delivering every redemptive promise he has made to you. In these unremarkable moments, he is working to rescue you from you and transform you into his likeness.
By sovereign grace, your Lord will place you in ten thousand little moments that are designed to take you beyond your character, wisdom, and grace so that you'll seek the help and hope that can only be found in him.
In a lifelong process of change, he is undoing you and rebuilding you again - exactly what each one of us needs!
Yes, you and I need to be committed to change in 2018, but not in a way that hopes for a big event of transformation. Instead, find joy in, and be faithful to, a day-by-day and step-by-step process of insight, confession, repentance and faith.
May 2018 be a great year, by grace alone and in Christ alone!
- Is there anything you want to change about your life in 2018?
- Are your desires for change driven more by biblical priorities or personal gain? How can you align your 2018 priorities with Scripture?
- How can you take advantage of the new morning mercies offered to you in the New Year? (Think about spiritual discplines and the blessings found in the body of Christ.)