"A New You for the New Year" - From His Heart - Week of January 14
- 2011 1 Jan
A New You for the New Year
Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
When I was a kid, one of my favorite TV shows was The Six Million Dollar Man. Do you remember that show? It was about an astronaut who nearly died in a terrible accident. The government stepped in and replaced his crushed body with bionic parts. The show's opening said, "We can rebuild him. We have the technology. We can make him better than he was. Better … stronger … faster."
A NEW YOU!
Wouldn't it be cool if you could be better than you were in 2010? If you could be a better Christian … a better husband or wife … a better mom or dad or child … a better boss or employee? If you could be more loving, more joyful, more at peace, more considerate, more disciplined, and more effective at making a difference?
Is it really possible to experience a new you in 2011? YES! That is exactly what God wants for you this New Year. God is in the life-transformation business. He has a plan and program to change your life and make you more like Him in the way you act and react.
WHAT'S THE PLAN?
Although Paul was arguably the strongest Christian who ever lived, he had a great desire in his heart to be "better, stronger, and faster." He wanted to grow in His relationship with Christ. He wanted to be changed "from glory to glory." In Philippians 3, Paul shared an important action plan that made a difference for him and will for you also. The action plan has two key steps.
1. Forget what lies behind.
A. Have you been hurt in the past? Have people said bad things about you and done bad things to you? Join the club. We all have had bad things happen to us in the past. The difference between winners and losers is this: winners let the pain from the past go. They forget it. Losers hold on to it. God says LET IT GO. Give those hurts to me so you can move on down the road.
B. Have you blown it in the past? Do you have major sins and failures in your past history that keep you feeling like a second-class citizen in the Kingdom of God? I don't care if you are guilty of mass murder; your sins, no matter how heinous, are no match for the blood of Jesus Christ! Confess all those sins to God. Get them out from the shadows of your heart and under the cleansing power of the blood of His cross. And once you confess that sin to God and turn from that sin, accept His complete and total forgiveness. "What God has cleansed, no longer consider unholy" (Acts 10:15).
2. Reach forward to what lies ahead.
God does not want us to live looking in the rear view mirror. He wants us to press on in Jesus' name. He wants us to put our eyes on Jesus and seek Him with all our hearts. He wants us to keep going, even when the way is hard.
Have you been tempted to throw in the towel? Have you gotten knocked down and have yet to get up? The time is now to dust off the difficulties of the past and get back in the race. Press on toward the goal, toward the prize of pleasing the Lord and hearing Him say one day as you cross the finish line, "Well done, my good and faithful servant."
It's a new year. God wants there to be a new you. It is within reach. It is His will and desire for you. Will you let go of the past? Will you get up from your fall? Will you go for the prize with all your heart?
Jeff Schreve is Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church in Texarkana, Texas. He and his wife Debbie have been married for over 20 years and are blessed with three wonderful girls. Jeff began From His Heart Ministries, a radio and television ministry, in January of 2005. This ministry is completely listener/viewer supported. It continues only through the faithful and generous gifts of people like you. Pastor Jeff takes no salary from this ministry. All gifts go to further the broadcast.