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The Pilgrim’s Path – January 5, 2020

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” 2 Corinthians 5:17

With the dawning of a new year, comes the dawning of a great many resolutions. And the majority will begin to fade within just a fewshort days. Believers also often use the beginning of a new year to resolve to do better, perhaps in their devotional life, or in their witnessing. And while our resolutions may differ slightly from those of the world, yet they amount to much the same: “find the strength and self-discipline deep within and remain resolved to do better than I did last year.” And we deceive ourselves into thinking that the message of Scripture is: “If I read the Bible more, pray more, hunker down and do better – then, at last God will be happy with me, and bless me!

Matt Chandler says, “Hard to believe it, based on our highly sketchy track record, but we have thoroughly convinced ourselves that the cure for what’s wrong with us is the well-oiled creation of a better version of ourselves.” And more New Year’s Resolutions fit right in with that conviction! But that is not the gospel! The gospel is the good news that God came to do for man what man was entirely unable to do for himself. We are weak, but He is strong! Jack Klumpenhower, in his book “Show Them Jesus”, says, “Embrace your weakness. Turn to your strong Saviour, who in the weakness of the cross triumphed over sin and death and the Devil. Then, like Paul, you’ll boast in your weakness instead of trying to hide it. [Then] you’ll know nothing but the cross!

The way we live is always a direct result of what we believe. So the key to changing your life for 2020 is not to hide your weakness, or to be more self-disciplined in your resolutions. That will only end in failure, or be a mask for the real you. The key is in changing what you believe, by seeing and embracing the God who loves you perfectly and completely. His love for you, rooted in His own eternal character, is not based on your performance, but on His glorious provision in the Lord Jesus Christ! It is only in truly understanding the wonder of such love that real change in our hearts, and lasting change in our lives is accomplished! Blessed New Year!

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