I remember being in my grade school years (late ’60s early ’70s) talking with my friends about what we wanted to be when we grew up and how old we would be in the year 2000. The year 2000 seemed so far away.
Now I look back at the year 2000 and think of how so far back it seems. I have 12 grandchildren, and it seems like they have always been here; it’s difficult to imagine life without them, but none of them had been born when Jan. 1, 2000, rolled around.
As I grow older, it seems the days go by slower while the weeks go by faster.
For most people, the month of December is one of the most intense months of the year. Christmas parties at work, the school pageants of the kids and grandkids, family dinners and get-togethers, Christmas programs at church, other civic organizations will also schedule events, and we haven’t even mentioned the cooking, decorating and other preparations these events need. Often people look forward to the day after Christmas when there is nothing on the schedule more than they look forward to Christmas.
A day or two after Christmas life seems to get quiet again. We’ve gone back to normal; going to work every day and doing the stuff we do, but the 100 mph life we’ve been living since Thanksgiving has slowed to 50 mph. It is during this putting on the breaks people will often reflect on their lives and form New Year’s resolutions.
The problem I see with New Year’s resolutions is that only about 5 percent (I think I may be generous with this number) are kept.
We all have things in our life we know we should do that we don’t, and we all have things in our life we know we shouldn’t do that we do. The Apostle Paul had the same problem (Romans 7:15-25).
Confessions of the Preacher – every year I make a resolution to lose weight. Well, I’m about ten pounds heavier today than I was a year ago.(Just as I typed this, my wife walked into the room and handed me a piece of peanut butter fudge we received for Christmas. I’ll take a break here and make sure it’s properly eaten; er, I mean disposed of).
The reason I haven’t lost the weight and all other resolutions don’t last are because of the heart. We just don’t have the desire to get it done. Deep down inside we all understand that knowing what to do and having the desire to do it are not the same. Ask anyone who hasn’t cleaned out the garage since 1998.
True life changes only come with a change in the heart; eternal changes only occur when Christ changes the heart. 2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”
We all have our list of stuff we need to do, or stop doing. All of these things are important, but the things that are eternal are most important. Matthew 16:26, “For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?”
We all make mistakes, like turning left at an intersection when we should have turned right, but we are also all sinners (Romans 3:23). Sins are doing the things God does not want us to do, or not doing the things He wants us to do. Yes, we are all sinners.
Christ died for us, to save us from sin and to help us live a new life in Him. As 2 Corinthians 5:17 said, “… all things are become new.” Also, Titus 2:14, “Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.”
Eternal life cannot be earned; it can only be obtained through faith, “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23). Ephesians 2:8-9, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”
Faith in what Jesus has done, dying on the cross for your sin, changes your eternity to one of blessedness. This same faith that saves your soul will change your heart attitude toward so many things – as Paul put it, “all things are become new.”
Just as the year 2000 came before I knew it and how now it seems so long ago, eternity may only be a heartbeat away. I’m ready; Christ has saved and changed me. Can you say the same?