Spirit & Truth # 208
By Rev. Greg Smith
In 2005 I wrote an article for this newspaper, entitled “New Year Traditions.” I quoted Jeremiah 29:11, which says, “For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the LORD, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope.”
New Year’s Day is a day of hope for the future. It’s a day of re-creation. People re-create themselves by making resolutions to do something different in the new year than they did in the previous year. They vow to quit smoking or drinking, or to lose weight or to spend more time with friends and family. We often break these resolutions quickly, because we don’t allow ourselves to become totally transformed.
The Apostle Paul writes, “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”[i] He also says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”[ii] We can change our external behaviors all we want, but if there’s not a corresponding internal change, it will never last. We’ll say, “Yep, just like last year, my New Year’s resolutions only lasted a few days.” We’ve got to allow God to change us on the inside.
YOu can only be truly made new if you’re new in Christ. When a person receives Jesus as their Savior and Lord, they find themselves transformed into something better than they once were. The mind begins to be renewed. The Christian’s thoughts and plans become aligned with God’s thoughts and plans. If you want total transformation rather than just another New Year’s resolution, then ask Jesus to come into your heart and mind. Ask Him to forgive your past sins and re-create you according to His perfect will.
As I look toward 2011, I’m determined not to re-create myself, but to allow God to re-create me. I plan to engage in a little recreation. Holy recreation isn’t just horsing around—it’s taking time away from the world’s demands in order to re-connect with the God who created you. Re-creation allows God to recharge your spiritual batteries so you can operate in His power when you come to life’s challenges. Don’t take life so seriously that you neglect the re-creation that you so desperately need. Go fishing. Take a family vacation. Have personal prayer retreat in the great outdoors. Let Jesus re-create you in 2011, for He says, “Behold, I make all things new.”[iii]