Make This Year the Year That You Start to Live Your Life for Jesus
Are you looking for new beginnings for 2021? This past year has presented new – and sometimes very difficult – challenges for everyone, and many people may be very excited to see the calendar flip to an entirely new year. This can be their chance to write a new chapter in their story, despite whatever has occurred throughout the United States and the world. They may have personal goals for themselves, like losing weight. They may have professional goals for their business or financial success. Whatever they aim for, many people will start 2021 by making resolutions. To make a “resolution” means that they resolve to do something: something different, something new, something to improve their lives. Sadly, many of those resolutions, for many reasons, will fall flat and fade away after a couple of days or a couple of weeks.
One new beginning for this new year, though, that is very possible – and that everyone should aim for – is to come closer to Jesus Christ and live the way that God wants them to live. In fact, that is our prayer here at the R.O.C.K. Club in Radford, VA. We pray that people all across the New River Valley will make decisions to live for Jesus Christ in 2021 and follow through with them.
It’s an old saying, but it’s a true saying: God’s way is the best way. It’s the best way for everyone to live. It’s where they will find true joy and true peace, no matter what is going on in their own lives or in the world around them. Many of those resolutions we’ve already mentioned fail because we attempt to complete them in our own limited strength and wisdom. But when we decide to live for Jesus, we can always be successful. Our success here comes when we fully rely on God for His strength and wisdom to follow through. In the Bible, Proverbs 3:5-6 states, “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” But it all must begin with our personal decision to follow Jesus, no matter what. In Daniel 1:8, Daniel “purposed in his heart” to follow God. God blessed Daniel’s decision, and He will bless your decision for Him, too.
Get Rid of Bad Habits, Sins, and Time Wasters
One thing that God wants us to do in our lives is to rid ourselves of bad habits and sinful thoughts and actions. These “strongholds” will only cause destruction and sorrow for us, while pulling us away from Jesus. This is a good place to start for a new beginning in the new year. The Bible states in 1 John 1:9 that “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
First of all, how do we identify these sins, bad habits, and strongholds in our lives? Don’t just trust your heart to tell you what is right and wrong. We can rationalize anything and everything. God’s Word tells us in Jeremiah 17:9, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” You will need God’s help. He is the Supreme Judge of right and wrong, and He wants to help you. When you ask Him to show you what is wrong in your life, He will.
As God identifies these habits and sins for us, we then need to purpose in our hearts to walk away from them. But that’s easier said than done, right? Some addictions, bad habits, and sins have tight grips. This is where we need God’s strength. If God helps you identify the sin in your life, He will certainly help you get rid of it. He loves you and wants the best for you. How many people have, with good intentions, determined to clean up their lives, only to fall back into the same traps again and again? Maybe you are one of them. Jesus can give you His strength to conquer these habits, sins, and strongholds in your life. All you have to do is trust Him and lean on Him.
Another area in your life that you should examine as you think about a new beginning in the new year is “time wasters.” These are things that aren’t necessarily sins or bad habits, but in excess, they can waste our time and hinder our walk with Jesus. These can be things such television, streaming platforms, video games, iPhones, and social media. Are you spending hours upon hours scrolling through your preferred social media platform or playing a video game console? These “time wasters” can be detrimental to our relationship with Jesus, as well as our relationships with family and friends. You can ask God for help in this area, too. The Bible tells in Hebrews 12:1 to “… lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.”
Incorporating Good Habits to Fill the Void
One way to ensure our success when removing sins, strongholds, and bad habits from our lives is to fill the void they leave with good, godly habits. Jesus wants us to do this. If we don’t fill that empty space with something else, we will be more likely to return to what we just left. Some things we can do to help us avoid falling back into the same traps while fostering our relationship with Jesus Christ are reading and studying the Bible more, praying more, and finding, regularly attending, and getting involved in a good church.
The same principle applies as we try to limit the “time wasters” in our lives. Fill the void with good habits. Put down the remote control or iPhone, and pick up a good book. Spend more time outside enjoying God’s creation. Take up a hobby that exercises both your brain and your skill. Find something that will make you grow as a person, not just tread water.
Remember, this may not be easy, but it will be worth it. This will take much more than just a choice; it will take some discipline on your part. But God wants you to grow as a Christian and as a person, and as we said before, you will find true joy and true peace when you follow God’s plan for your life. Remember what the Bible states in Philippians 3:13-14, “… this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”
This Year, Make the Best Decision of All
Remember this one thing above all, however: You can only accomplish everything we have previously discussed by first having a relationship with Jesus Christ. How is that possible? This is the most important fact you will ever read: In yourself, your sins separate you from God, but Jesus loved you so much that He came from Heaven, took your sins as His own, and paid the debt you owed for them by shedding His blood and dying on the cross. He then rose from the dead three days later to give you victory over death. He now offers eternal life and a relationship with God to anyone who will trust Him and ask Him to save them, including you. As you think about new beginnings in this new year, make the best decision you could ever make. Trust Jesus to be your Savior. Talk about new beginnings for 2021!
We pray everyone has a blessed new year! The R.O.C.K. Club in Radford, VA, offers exceptional, compassionate Christian child care and tutoring. For more information, or to find out how you can have a real relationship with God through Jesus Christ, call us today at (540) 267-3000.