By Rae Barnes
A New Year. A New You! These words are everywhere right now. Truly, there is no other time of year when everyone’s need for a Savior is so apparent to me. The latter part of 2 Corinthians 5:17 seems to be in the front of my mind this time of year: “The old has gone, the new is here!” We run in these circles year after year, resolving to do better and be better in attempts to become this almost new person with new habits. But most resolutions don’t make it a whole month, let alone an entire year. We fall short (Romans 3:23). We fall back to our old ways. And thus, we show off our dire and urgent need for the help of a Savior.
Without Christ, the old does not pass away; the new will not come. Sure, some guy may lose 50 pounds this year if he actually sticks to his resolution for the entire year, but more importantly, inwardly, he is still carrying all the “weight” of his sin if he has survived the year without Christ. So we can’t ignore the beginning of 2 Corinthians 5:17 or even the few verses preceding it. I’ll cut it short to get to the point: Christ’s love compels us because…he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him… “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come!”
We are ALL longing for this newness. We are driven almost irresistibly to Christ and His offer to make us new. And, that, my friends, is the good news of the Word of God: we can be made new. No matter what hardships, tragedies, mistakes or failures we suffered through in 2015, there is a new beginning in Christ. Romans 3:23-24 says, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.”
We are so fortunate that redemption isn’t something that is only offered on January 1 every year; we didn’t miss the boat on January 5. We have an opportunity for newness every year, every month, every week and every minute of every day by the grace of God. And for that, I am ever so thankful.