New Year New You

Hello Baysiders! Hope all is well in your souls! The Christmas season is upon us and the fight to keep Jesus at the center of it all is always the challenge around this time of year. I pray you all are seeking first the kingdom of God and all these holiday things will be added unto you.

I want to move past Christmas. I know. You just started playing your favorite Christmas songs. But time waits for no one! I want to focus on the new year, 2022. Rather than wait for January, I want to get ahead start because it’s right around the corner and I want to encourage you to push into the new year and be passionate of new beginnings and not be afraid of the unknown. Sometimes we can be sluggish to new things and changes. But if you start preparing for it now, it will be easier to follow through. New Years is our cultural’s celebration of new starts, fresh perspective, letting go of past regrets and pain and looking forward to starting something new or over again. It’s the perfect time to create new habits and develop character that resembles Jesus.

New Year resolutions, fixes, goals, whatever you want to call them are very Christian actually as they center on absolution of what has been done and on determination to do better than before. It’s what confession of sin and repentance is all about. I like what Paul says in Philippines 3:12-14, “I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.” Paul was all about the prize of heaven. He did whatever he could to obtain it. He welcomed anything that would make him take hold of Jesus. Isn’t that an awesome pursuit? To live in such a way to hold more onto Jesus is not just the yearly goal but daily goal for every Christ follower. Paul was determined and didn’t allow for his past to ruin or impeded his future. Thats the essence of New Years, to reframe, refocus, reimagine, and start anew with any habits, ideas, and personality traits to lay hold of Jesus.

Here are some questions to ask yourself on beginning new this year in the attempt to hold onto Jesus more.

  1. Who do I want to become as an individual and what aspect of my personhood needs to be let go?
  2. Where do I want to be at the end of next year?
  3. How can I accomplish this pursuit and what practices can I do to obtain more of Jesus?
  4. Why am I doing this again? (This question is the most important because it will constantly remind you of the reason for the prize of heaven)

Grace and peace ?:^)

Pastor Aaron