Christian Students, the New Year and the Newness of Christ
This time of year for students is typically an exciting and busy one. The joys of Christmas are just passing away and many new things have begun and are soon to begin. Returning to one’s “second home”, is often keenly anticipated and impatiently awaited. It is at this time of year, among these thrills that new year’s resolutions are made. Common ones often relate to one’s wellbeing, including diet, exercise, outlook and productivity. Such resolutions are often made for good reasons, but the question arises, what is the motivation behind the motivation? I want to try to comment on how we as Christians can seek to live for God in this time of resolution.
This time is one of change, as we enter from one year into the next, although this in itself is relatively insignificant, just a change of a number, it can act to stir us to consider other significant changes over the passage of time, The first of which is creation, where the LORD brought all that is into existence; and why did He do so? To serve His purposes of the display of the glory of His grace, shown towards those He would save. How then would He save His people? The LORD would send into the world His only begotten Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, the Godman, being without sin and yet bearing the sins of the world at Calvary, that all who would believe in him would be saved from their sin and inherit eternal life. We can then also look forward to that day when the Lord Jesus will return to gather all his people to himself, that he might dwell with them forever, and to judge the world in justice. As Christians, we can keenly look forward to that day when the LORD will make a new heavens and a new earth (Revelation 21).
Resolutions are often made as we seek to better ourselves, but how is it that we can know true newness and change? Only by trusting in Christ, and seeking the Holy Spirit who can change us into the image of Christ, which is the Father’s will for His children (1 Thessalonians 4:3). Indeed, when we become Christians we are made a “new creation” (2 Corinthians 5:17). In Christ we can have confidence, knowing that before God we stand holy, clothed in the white robes of Christ Jesus himself (Revelation 7:13-14). I would like to call on us all, whatever we may resolve, to do so in the knowledge that all we are to do is meant to be for the glory of God, and not for our own. Indeed, all that we do can, and should, be done for His glory, “Whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31). All that we do can indeed be for His glory, this can most easily be seen when we serve Him amongst and for the body of Christ, the Church, as such I would encourage you to “Seek first the Kingdom of God”. Perhaps that could be your resolution this year, that by God’s help you might serve Him better, more zealously and with greater affection.
Grace and peace.