A New Year but still the Same You by Caleb H.
December 29, 2008, 7:19 am
Filed under: Devotions


by Caleb Hancock

So, with Christmas over, everyone naturally turns to the next holiday and wonders what the new year will bring. A new job? A new home? A new relationship? A new weight, or work-ethic?

But what is the Christian man’s hope for change? Is it really as simple as having a new mindset or goal to bring about change?

Unfortunately for all of us “Do-It-Yourself”-ers out there, changing your heart attitude and motivations is a work of God. While it is one that we participate in, change is initiated and sustained by God. (Philippians 2:12-13)

Paul helps explain the tension found in those who desire to change here in Romans 7.

Romans 7:15 For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. 16 Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. 17 So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. 18 For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing.

21 So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. 22 For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, 23 but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. 24 Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?

Guys, if you are anything like me, than you can relate to Paul in this seemingly exasperated statement. We WANT to change (if so, that is a mark of God’s work already!) but it seems that we will never change. And unfortunately, if it was all up to us, we never would.

HOWEVER, because Jesus really did come as a man and really did accept the wrath of God for our sins, so that through faith in him guilty sinners are declared NOT GUILTY and FULLY RIGHTEOUS in Christ, we CAN CHANGE!!!!!

In light of these glorious truths, Paul’s very next sentence in Romans 7 begins this way:

25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!

Because of our sovereign God’s favor and mercy, because of Christ’s atoning death on our behalf, and because of the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit in our lives, we not only can desire to turn new leaves over this new year, but we can expect God to be at work in every genuine believer, transforming not only our desires, but our actions as well.

Philippians 1:6 And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.

Glory to God!!!


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