ISSUES OF FAITH: It’s time for resolutions to be made

SOMETIMES BEING “CAUGHT in the middle” is an awkward, uncomfortable position.

But today, on this particular Friday, we’re in a great position.

We’re caught in the middle between Christmas and New Year, and the fact that one precedes the other makes it possible for there to be a new you — and a new me.

Many Americans are making New Year resolutions to eat more healthfully and get more exercise.

These are good resolutions that can lead to a happier and healthier life, and resolutions I seriously need to heed.

But the new you and me I am referring to is directly linked to the one whose birth we celebrated three days ago.

Jesus’ journey on Earth led him from the manger to a cross so he could pay for our sins, making it possible for us to be new.

“[If] anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold the new has come” (2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV).

Being “in Christ” means we have confessed our sins and asked for the forgiveness he has offered us.

He redeems us. He makes us new. We are “born again” (John 3:3).

But after we are born again, we need to grow.

We aren’t born again to stay the same; we need to change.

“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind …” (Romans 12:2).

And again, “be renewed in the spirit of your minds … put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness” (Ephesians 3:23).

Renewing our minds, renewing us, is a lifelong process. This process is described to us in Colossians 3:9-10: “[You] have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.”

Off with the old; on with the new — a new that is continually being renewed.

We are a new creation in Christ in order to become like Christ.

God really likes to do new things. Genesis tells us about his new creation, and Revelation tells us that he will make everything new again (Revelation 1:5).

He makes every day new. His love and mercy are new every morning (Lamentations 3:22, 23).

But God’s greatest work is making a new you — and a new me.

He gives us a new heart and a new spirit — his spirit (Ezekiel 36:26) — so we can be new people walking in the “newness of life” (Romans 6:4).

Happy New Year.

_________

Issues of Faith is a rotating column by five religious leaders on the North Olympic Peninsula. The Rev. Greg Reynolds is pastor of Joyce Bible Church. His email is jbc@joycebiblechurch.org.

More in Life

A GROWING CONCERN: Chill out before you plant too early

AS THIS PAST week’s chill lay heavy in the valleys and the… Continue reading

The Rev. Larry Schellink will present “The Power of Spiritual Community” at 10:30 a.m. Sunday. Schellink is the guest speaker at Unity in the Olympics, 2917 E. Myrtle Ave.
Weekend program scheduled for Unity in the Olympics

The Rev. Larry Schellink will present “The Power of… Continue reading

The Rev. Pam Douglas-Smith.
Unity in Port Townsend planning for Sunday services

The Rev. Pam Douglas-Smith will present “Love is Golden… Continue reading

OUUF speaker scheduled

The Rev. Dr. Barry Andrews will present “Walden in… Continue reading

ISSUES OF FAITH: Faith in the beauty of spring

“WOW! ISN’T THAT just beautiful?” This is what I find myself saying… Continue reading

Pictured are Susan Hillgren, on left, and Emily Murphy.
TAFY donation in Port Angeles

The Port Angeles Garden Club has donated $1,000 to The Answer For… Continue reading

The Olympic Kiwanis Club reports that its recent electronics recycling event was even more popular than planned for.
Kiwanis recycling event a success

The Olympic Kiwanis Club reports that its recent electronics recycling event in… Continue reading

Future Chefs contest names cooking contest winners

Sodexo and the Port Angeles School District have announced… Continue reading

A GROWING CONCERN: Get the dirt on soil

SINCE WE TALKED extensively about you growing your own award-winning vegetables, we… Continue reading

OPEN’s Spring Tack Sale is Saturday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., 251 Roupe Road (off Hooker Road). Proceeds benefit rescued horses, minis, ponies (such as the one pictured with grossly overgrown hooves) and donkeys. Western and English saddles, saddle pads, halters, sheets, bits, bridles; western jewelry, clothes, boots and more. (photo by Valerie Jackson)
HORSEPLAY: Clean up after yourself and your horse

CLEAN UP ON aisle 7! Remember: Unlike a grocery store clerk who… Continue reading

ISSUES OF FAITH: Finding solace in song

WHEN OUR DAUGHTER Maggie died, I found so much comfort in listening… Continue reading

OUUF speaker scheduled

The Rev. Bruce Bode will present “Are All Humans… Continue reading