A New Year and a New You

New Year

2015.

It’s another new year.

A new set of 365 days of possibilities, challenges, surprises, difficulties, blessings, fun, joy, sadness (grief), and change.

365 days.  12 months.  52 weeks.  8765 hours.  525,948 minutes.

A lot of opportunities to choose:

  • Faith instead of worry.
  • Boldness instead of fear.
  • Hope instead of despair.
  • Possibilities instead of hopelessness.
  • God instead of self (self-interest).
  • Love instead hate.
  • Compassion instead of apathy.
  • Grace instead of shame and condemnation.
  • Forgiveness instead of animosity and bitterness.
  • Peace instead of stress and hostility.
  • Joy instead of jealousy.
  • Patience instead of rush.
  • Mercy instead of vengeance.
  • Steadfastness instead of compromise or temptation.
  • Faithfulness instead of idolatry.
  • Goodness and kindness instead of selfishness.
  • Gentleness instead of anger.
  • Self control instead of impulsiveness.
  • Contemplation (meditation) instead of controversy and complaining.
  • Understanding instead of judgment.
  • Humility (meekness) instead of bragging and stubbornness.
  • Truth instead of lying and denying.
  • Repenting (true turning back to God) instead of sinning.
  • Consistency instead of double-mindedness and hypocrisy.
  • Persistence instead of laziness or lukewarmness.
  • Jesus’ rest instead of burdens.
  • Endurance instead of weariness.

To live in a way that draws people to Jesus:

  • To walk in love by being the hands and feet of Jesus.
  • To bless and not curse (to not hold grudges).
  • To be peacemakers who don’t argue or fight back with angry words or hostile actions.
  • To go the extra mile in reaching out to people.
  • To pray for those hurt you, use you, abuse you, belittle you, ignore you.
  • To do good deeds for those who cannot (or will not) repay you.
  • To speak words that will edify people, glorify God, and create a joyful environment around you.
  • To consider the best (God’s purpose) in people, despite their words and actions.

A lot of new opportunities to let God guide your choices:

  • To let go of all the issues and baggage and hurts of the past so you can be (healed and) new.
  • To focus your heart on things with eternal value instead of temporary earthly worth.
  • To look at God and His faithfulness instead of your circumstances.
  • To take a step of faith in God’s direction toward His good purpose for your life.
  • To be open to the path, vision, dream, and life God has waiting for you.
  • To recognize your areas of unbelief and give them to God.
  • To be bold enough to step out onto the water, amidst the waves.
  • To be a (humble) servant when the opportunity presents itself.
  • To worship will full abandon out of a grateful heart.
  • To be thankful for all the blessings, both seen and unseen, in your life.
  • To appreciate the poem that you are as His uniquely created workmanship.

Each new day you have the opportunity to focus on God, to look to God, to love God, to seek God, to know God, to worship God. To see God’s guiding hand in every circumstance, including the difficult ones (where it is upholding you). To know that no matter what happens God loves you unconditionally, more than you can imagine. To believe that God always has your best interest at heart and wants only the best for you. To receive the good things He wants to give you and then to share them with others. To remember you are a beloved child of God who has been fully redeemed and therefore fully adopted into His family and endowed with every heavenly promise and blessing. To ask Him for anything and everything your heart desires, knowing He can do more than we can possibly expect or imagine; yet to be content with His answer, which is for your best interest. To never lose heart or hope in His greater purpose.

“Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering as a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.” (Ephesians 5:1-2)

What do you want to accomplish in your 365 days?  What do you hope the end of this year looks like?  What do you need to do differently?  What do you need to keep doing consistently?   How can you impact at least one person’s life?  How can you take the first bold step toward God’s plan?  How can you show love to someone in your life that desperately needs your love?  How can you be different this year?

You have 365 days and 8765 hours to figure it out.

The great news is you don’t have to figure it out alone. Listen for the still, small, whispering voice of God that is speaking to you, trying to reach you through the chaos and craziness that is your daily life.

Then be willing to change. Be determined to be better. Be ready and be open to God’s direction. And always be thankful He loves you enough to stretch you, humble you, challenge you, and bless you!

Marie Fremin, 1/4/15

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