By Steve Troxel
God's Daily Word Ministries
What will we do different this year? There are more resolutions made during the first week of January than at any other time of the year - more diets are begun and more attempts at various forms of self-improvement. I confess I made a resolution to run one thousand miles this year. I'll also confess I'm not off to a great start - I've only run two miles in the first five days. [Note: This message was written on January 6th, 2003. I ran 1508 miles in 2003 - Praise God!!]
No matter when this message is actually being read, today is the beginning of a new year. Most good-intended resolutions will soon be forgotten, but some will make lasting changes for the better. If it takes the commitment of a "New Year" resolution to break free of a bad habit, restore a broken relationship or improve your health, then by all means resolve!
But as we reflect on the past and excitedly plan for the future, let's focus our effort on changes which have eternal significance. Jesus said it well as He admonished the Pharisees: "You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. First clean the inside...and then the outside also will be clean" (Matthew 23:25-26).
The Bible speaks about the initial transformation which occurs when we become a "new creation" in Christ. But it also speaks about the on-going transformation as we draw closer to God and achieve the peace and contentment found only in His presence.
"Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is - His good, pleasing and perfect will."
The renewing of our mind is an inward change where we are "conformed to the likeness of His Son" (Romans 8:29). It's a process of changing our thoughts, priorities, and goals to be aligned with those of Christ; "Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 2:5 KJV). The mind of Christ was pure, focused on the Father, and determined to do His will; "My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to finish His work" (John 4:34).
On our list of things to do different this next year, I pray we include more time with God in prayer, more time in His Word, more time loving Him with ALL our heart, seeking His presence, and earnestly desiring to know, and do, His will. Let our prayer for one another be that we draw ever closer to our Heavenly Father and experience His love new and fresh every day. In this new year, let's make eternal resolutions as we resolve to be transformed!
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