Grove, Oklahoma, US
Via ASSIST News Service

New life in the forest

 New life. PICTURE: Bruce Hong/Unsplash

He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true” - Revelation 21:5 (NIV).

The New Year is here! After the stresses of 2020, I doubt anyone wants to cling to the past. With the turning of the calendar to January, 2021, sighs of relief were probably expressed by many.

Have you made any New Year’s resolutions?  While I used to, I don’t anymore. My list used to look something like this: lose weight, eat healthier, save more money, etc. Those are also some of the more common resolutions made each 1st January. By the way, most people fail at keeping their New Year’s resolutions.

"We can start each day with a clean slate. No eraser needed. But that’s what Jesus is all about - making us new. His mercies are new each morning."

I quit making resolutions as I grew in my relationship with Jesus. Looking back, I cannot recall the last time I made a list of things to change in my life. However, I began to choose a focus word for the year. In the past, I’ve prayed and chosen words like trust, focus, and hope. My 2020 word was embrace - embrace more of God in my life. I write the word at the top of each page in my daily prayer journal. Each time I do, I’m reminded of my spiritual growth word for that year.

In a recent morning devotional, the author wrote about Christ making all things new. She quoted a line from her favourite movie, Anne of Green Gables: “Tomorrow is fresh with no mistakes in it.” Don’t you love that line? And what a great reminder!

It means we can start each day with a clean slate. No eraser needed. But that’s what Jesus is all about - making us new. His mercies are new each morning.

However, to grow in our relationship with Jesus and stay rooted in Him, shouldn’t we be focused on our spiritual growth? To remain hopeful, to renew our strength, to have the energy to defeat evil, we must do our part.

What is it about a New Year leading many of us to attempt changes in our lives? Is it the turning of a page on the calendar to the next year prompt us? With Jesus, we can make changes in our spiritual life any day of the year. Reflecting on our spiritual life means we must be honest with ourselves. Where do we need to grow in our walk with Him? We’ll never achieve perfection on earth. Jesus doesn’t expect it.

In the same devotional, Gwen Ford Faulkenberry wrote, “He’s looking for someone to grow in Him, becoming more like Him, moment by moment, year by passing year.” Faulkenberry goes on to challenge her readers to “write down and commit to Jesus three areas in which you’d like to grow” and “Ask Him to make them new.”

After reflecting on where I need to grow spiritually, I chose the following: to be less judgmental; to be more aware of the needs of others; and to be less defensive in my reactions to others. What three areas will you choose to grow in Jesus this year? Reflect. Pray. Execute.

~ www.carolaround.com