January 11, 2015

Clinging to Grace

My resolution a few millennia ago was to discontinue the use of resolutions in my life. I have commitment issues with resolutions. Resolutions and I... we just weren't meant to be together.

But January, January is sooo in love with resolutions. If January was Ross, then resolutions would be his Rachel. (I've been binge watching Friends #Netflix).

There is something so magical about the fresh start that a new year brings. New beginnings, fresh start, start over, do-over.
Just thinking of these terms brings a sigh of excitement and wonder!

I don't think we can help but to yearn for a fresh start.
We cannot help to yearn for it because we all need to start over. We crave it and it feels like a gift from nature to have a new Day One.
And not just this generation, or the last ten, but every single human being from the 6th day of creation to tonight craves a fresh start.

Sin hijacked our start.
Sin can often come wrapped in "new". Promising new peace, new experiences, new joy.
But the reality is that sin only brings new hurt, new pain, and new consequences.

Sin brings guilt and they throw a party in your heart and mind.
Their job is to convince you Day One is gone, and never coming again. You blew it.
You schmuck. You idiot.
And while others may tell you there is a restart, sin says: "You couldn't have it, even it if existed, because you are unworthy of new. You are dirty, you are worn, you are sick and broken. Old is where you belong."

But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!
2 Corinthians 5:17
I am dirty, I am worn, I am sick and I am certainly broken. I am not a qualified applicant for a new creation.
It is by grace that you have been saved through faith in Christ Jesus... Ephesians 2:8

For you resolution setters, what propels you into the new year?
Doesn't the memory of the past year push you to make better choices?
In the same way. When we are a new creation in Christ, we are not patients with amnesia.
We remember we are unqualified. We remember our sin.
By grace you have been saved through faith in Christ Jesus. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works,  so that no one may boast. Ephesians 2:8-9
We remember the sin and choices because we can more richly celebrate the gift of grace. 
We did not earn grace and yet grace was given.
Our actions in sin kept us unqualified, but as grace moves in our lives (via the Holy Spirit) that New Life begins to ooze out in all the other areas of our life: 
-at school
-at work
-at church
-with strangers
-with family
-with friends
I don't set resolutions. I can't keep them. But this year I was encouraged by a blog post from Aimee to have a word to "cling to in 2015." I loved this idea!
So for 2015, I'm clinging to this gift from God. I'm clinging to Grace.