Real Change Starts With New Life, Not Just A New Leaf.
The very heart of the Christian faith and the transformation it brings involves something old passing away and something new taking its place.
It revolves around change, but it's not in making New year resolutions or turning over a new leaf—it is choosing to receive and live out a new life.
"Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold all thing have become new" (2 Corinthians 5:17)
We are constantly in need of this change, no matter who we are. But too many people misunderstand. They believe, "If I change, then God will like me more." But it's Jesus' finished work on the Cross that causes our acceptance and enables us to change.
"Religion says,' I obey; therefore I am accepted.'
Christianity says, 'I'm accepted; therefore I obey."
Trying to "turn over a new leaf" is a temporary fix. And it leads to the frustrating cycle of always looking for the latest "new fix" for our lives.
King Solomon realised this when, after all his achievements, knowledge, wealth, and fame, he said, "I learned that this is all a pursuit of the wind". (Ecclesiastes 1:12-18).
Solomon acknowledged the "folly" of hoping to change his own life and recommended that we surrender our lives to God, receive His love, and allow Him to work in us rather than waste our lives trying to change ourselves.
What a relief. No more toil, no struggling, no chasing after the next thing, trying to "fix" ourselves. Just surrender!
In John 3, Nicodemus approached Jesus, asking to change. He had the right background, the proper spiritual training, and the correct position in society but had not been transformed. He was most likely moral and religious. But Jesus informed him of the need to be "born again" (John 3:3).
Nicodemus had to let go of the belief that rules and regulations bring about lasting spiritual change. He didn't need more rules but rather a new life.
Rules can modify behaviour and give you a different way to live, but only a relationship with Jesus can impart a new life that brings lasting, transformational change.
Don't waste another day trying to turn over a "new leaf" and attempting to change yourself. Accept Jesus’s gift of a new life, surrender every part of who you are to Him every day, and allow Him to work in you continually. He is faithful to finish what He’s started in you.
Prayer: Lord, thank you for the new life I have in you. I choose to surrender to you. Please continue to work in me today. In Jesus Name Amen.