New Year + Truth = New Creations

December 31, 2014

Today we will close the door on 2014 and embrace the promise of 2015.  Many will dress up and attend parties and celebrate this transition.  Others will go to bed knowing it will happen whether they are awake or not. (I am in the second category.)

I have, as an older adult, not been one to make “New Year’s Resolutions” because I rarely keep them.  I know I need to lose 20 pounds but I love to eat! I know I need to incorporate more exercise into my routine, but I hate to exercise! On and on go the realities of my life and my attitude towards them.

We are all given a new year, a fresh start, and a time to refocus, to rededicate ourselves, to begin anew at something.  What will it be for you in 2015? What will it be for me? This year my heart seems to be focusing one thing:  I want to be more like Jesus.  Now isn’t that an honorable goal!  For those who personally know me, you are thinking…. an unrealistic one too! Yet it is not!  I have felt the Holy Spirit pressing into me: “Less of you, Roxanne, and more of Jesus.”  But how do I do that?  In a practical way, what does this look like? In order to put my selfishness aside, I must train myself to put my needs behind those of others.  I must realize that “I” and “me” are not important to the Kingdom.  I must ‘die to myself’.

“Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of himself. He had equal status with God but didn’t think so much of himself that he had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what. Not at all. When the time came, he set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, became human! Having become human, he stayed human. It was an incredibly humbling process. He didn’t claim special privileges. Instead, he lived a selfless, obedient life and then died a selfless, obedient death—and the worst kind of death at that—a crucifixion.”  Philippians 2:5-8 (The Message)

This is what we just celebrated – Emmanuel! Jesus with us!  I feel pressed to make this annual celebration a daily reality….less of me and more of Jesus.  In order to do that, I must know who Jesus is; how He responded to situations; how He loved the unlovable; how He poured Himself out as a sacrifice; how He responded to those in need, in difficult situations, in need of healing, those who were thirsty, hunger and imprisoned. I can only know this through daily Bible study and meditation.  I must be prepared to recognize the Truth from the lies.  I have read that those who are trained to recognize counterfeit money are only shown authentic bills so that they will know them so well, they immediately recognize the counterfeit.  As a follower of Jesus Christ, I need to know Him so well that I am able to respond as He would.  I must ‘die to myself’ and allow the Spirit of the Living God to overflow into every situation, every action and reaction.

Written in 2 Corinthians 5:14-21 “Our firm decision is to work from this focused center: One man died for everyone. That puts everyone in the same boat. He included everyone in his death so that everyone could also be included in his life, a resurrection life, a far better life than people ever lived on their own. Because of this decision we don’t evaluate people by what they have or how they look. We looked at the Messiah that way once and got it all wrong, as you know. We certainly don’t look at him that way anymore. Now we look inside, and what we see is that anyone united with the Messiah gets a fresh start, is created new. The old life is gone; a new life burgeons! Look at it! All this comes from the God who settled the relationship between us and him, and then called us to settle our relationships with each other. God put the world square with himself through the Messiah, giving the world a fresh start by offering forgiveness of sins. God has given us the task of telling everyone what he is doing. We’re Christ’s representatives. God uses us to persuade men and women to drop their differences and enter into God’s work of making things right between them. We’re speaking for Christ himself now: Become friends with God; he’s already a friend with you. How? you ask. In Christ. God put the wrong on him who never did anything wrong, so we could be put right with God.” (The Message)

As 2014 closes out, I thank God that I am a new creation in Him because of Jesus’ birth, life and death. My heart yearns to be more like Jesus.  If I yield my body and mind to my heart with the help of the Spirit of the Living God, then and only then, can I hope to be so full of Jesus that He is what comes from my mouth, actions and life.

I know that only after filling my heart and mind with the Word of God daily, can it overflow. So I cry out, “Come Lord Jesus, come into me and into the world so that all may know you!  Less of me, Lord Jesus. More of You!“

Feliz Año Nuevo!