There’s something special – almost magical – about a new beginning in a new year.”This year, I’m going to do it!” We say to ourselves as we make our resolutions for the New Year. . But our good intentions are quickly followed by, “Oh well, maybe next year,” as we throw up our hands in surrender when we fail.
To illustrate this concept to my children’s church group, I asked one of the younger boys to stand in front of the group. Giving him two buttons, I instructed him to toss the buttons into a cereal bowl about 3 feet away on the floor.
He almost made it with the first button, bouncing it off the bowl. The second one missed completely.
Then I explained to the children that when we make resolutions or promises to ourselves to change our lifestyles, we often have difficulty keeping those promises. We miss the mark far more often than we hit it.
But with the Lord’s help, we can be successful in making changes in our lives. He wants us to change and to grow. Having goals to reach those changes is important along with trusting Him for the help we need to achieve those goals as we see in Philippians 3:12-14.
The Bible has much to say about “newness” and “renewing” our lives – a great start to develop our goals for the New Year..
Christ gives us new life – 2 Corinthians 5:17
He renews our spirits – Psalm 51:10-12
He renews our strength – Isaiah 40:31
Christ renews our minds – Romans 12:2
With His “renewing” power, He can help us to set realistic goals for life-changes and He can give us the motivation and help to keep working toward those changes.
To drive that home, I gave each child a button and asked them to think of a change (or resolution) they wanted to make in the next year. Then we prayed for the “renewing power” of Christ to help them achieve those changes. As each one spoke their promise out loud, they dropped their button in the bowl.
As expected some of the buttons bounced out, allowing me to remind them that it is Jesus’s power that helps them pick up their button and keep trying as they work toward changing their lives.
Of course there’s always a joker in the bunch as one young boy promised to “hit his brother every day” – one he would have no trouble keeping! Thankfully he did change it to a promise to clean his room. LOL!
What do you want to see changed in your life this year? Rely on the renewing power of Christ to help you achieve it!