For many people, the New Year is a time to leave old problems and fears behind and get a fresh start on life. But the trouble is, for most of us, the old problems and fears just won’t stay behind us. We do want to press forward with our lives, but our mistakes, sins and trials seem to have us shackled to the past.
I am here to tell you about someone who came down to this earth for you and me, willingly gave His life for us and fulfilled what He intended to do, 2015 years ago. That means we no longer have to be haunted by shame over past mistakes, guilt over our failures, or pain from broken relationships.
As far as I am concerned, there is no better way to start out this New Year than to focus on God’s Grace, which often is defined as God’s undeserved love for all humanity.
John 1:17 teaches us that Jesus was full of Grace and Truth. He is the personification and the embodiment of Grace and Truth; and it says from His fullness, His essence, from the center of the core of who He is, we receive Grace upon Grace. It’s Grace without end, it is unconditional, illogical Grace. He doesn’t just give it. He himself is Grace.
It isn’t that you are suddenly transformed into a faultless person. But it’s that God has given his Grace to you in the person of Jesus. No matter how far you have advanced or not advanced in your career, no matter how far short you may fall of your personal goals, no matter what sins have marred your life, no matter what a mess you’ve made of things, no matter how you or others perceive your status or importance in life – regardless of all these things, when you believe the person of Jesus, you belong to God. You are now His, and He makes all things, including you, new (2 Corinthians 5:17).
Jesus, who obviously is God, the Savior of the universe, did not come for a clean, calculated approach. He came in the mess of it all and He got dirty with the people-obviously sinless and perfect, but was not afraid to get associated with people, bad people. He was so passionate that He put on skin and bones as God to really help humanity.
You see, friends, it’s not about what we deserve. It’s never about how successful we’ve been or how hard we’ve worked. But it’s about His love for us. This New Year, I want to tell you about a God who loves us in spite of ourselves. He loves us so much that he did everything that was needed to be done to save us from ourselves. He became a man, a human like us, and died on the cross without sin to save us from death and release us from the power of sin in our lives.
The truth of the matter is that through Jesus Christ, God has forgiven and forgotten our sins. We no longer need to feel guilty about them. We no longer need to worry that God doesn’t love us or that He doesn’t accept us. We no longer need to feel afraid that we might not make it into his glorious Kingdom! God says that through Jesus, we are forgiven.
Yes, we have a New Year and many of us might have decided to stand by new resolutions.
But friends, rather than pursuing principles, concepts, or even good character qualities, our ultimate goal, this year should be to focus more on the Person of Jesus (His Grace and unconditional love toward us).
Paul refers to God’s Grace toward us as an indescribable gift (2 Corinthians 9:15). Humanly, it seems far too good to be true. Yet, this gift of Grace is the very definition of good. And it is my prayer that you will know and feel the wonderful truth of God’s precious gift to you this year.
God bless and have a great year ahead peeps!