It is that time of year again. It is the time of year when we all step back and look over the past year and look forward to the next year. We put on our critical glasses and find all the areas of failure in the past year, and sprinkle in a few of our successes. We look to the new year with all the areas we are going to improve and hope that we can make them happen. We look into the next year with the hope of changing many things. For many it might be something with our physical appearance. We are going to stick to that diet, or we are going to get to the gym more than twice a month. We are going to run more, eat less.
For those of us who are believers, we also will take this time to start beating ourselves up for not being a good enough believer. For not loving enough, for being selfish, for failing to be perfect. We might start making resolutions to be a better Christian, to be a better believer. We will read the Bible more, pray more, spend more time with God. We will bring more people into the fold. I am here to encourage you to not think that way. I am here to say that you cannot be a better Christian. Or maybe I should say you cannot WILL yourself into being a better Christian. You cannot put God and faith into a checkbox. Reading Scripture more, will improve your relationship with Scripture.
It is impossible to be a better Christian. It is like saying, this year I am going to be saved MORE! Go ahead, try it. Try to be saved more. The truth of the matter is that salvation is not on a scale, it is a simple yes or no. If one is drowning, and we all have been at some time in a figurative sense, and someone saves you, you are saved. You cannot turn to your rescuer and say, next time…save me more! What happened at Calvary took care of everything. The belief in the salvation at Calvary is what makes us Christian. That is it. It is FINISHED!
Sure in the new year, we can do all the things listed above, but what good are those things, if we live in a state of neglecting the relationship with the Father? My encouragement for everyone in the New Year is to trust Him more. That is all. Through trusting Him more, we might find ourselves in meaningful conversations with Him as opposed to simple petitions of prayer. As we learn to trust Him, we might find true wisdom in the Scriptures as opposed to knowledge of what 1 Corinthians 1:1 is. We will find the life of Christ in our lives. We will move past the mundane to-do list, and enter into His kingdom. We will make His kingdom known to those around us by more than just our words. We will make Him known by our love for those around us and putting the Scriptures into action. We will use them to truly guide our lives and not just our discussions.
We will wake up one day and find the somehow without even trying we have taken on the same mission of Christ, to reveal the Kingdom of God. We will make the Kingdom tangible and real to those around us.