Hope For Change In The New Year

by Stephen Altrogge

We are officially in the new year, and with a new year comes a bunch of things we are going to change about ourselves in the upcoming year. I’m finally going to get control of my temper. I’m going to start praying more. I’m going to have more self control when I eat. I’m going to share the gospel more. I'm going to pray more, pray harder, pray stronger. 

We resolve to become better people over the coming year. 

And while there's nothing wrong with wanting to change, the way we think about changing is massively important. If we misstep at the beginning of seeking to change, we will be thrown entirely off course. To put it simply, we won't change. 

If we’re ever going to make any real progress in our relationship with God, we must be absolutely gripped by the fact that God loves us, delights in us, and accepts without any change at all on our part. He welcomes us because we are in Christ, and for no other reason.

A man named Sinclair Ferguson said:

“our greatest temptation and mistake is to try to smuggle character into his work of grace.”

God has done an incredible work for us through Jesus Christ. He has secured all the righteousness we need. We can't add to, improve upon, or alter the finished work of Christ. Our greatest temptation is to try to add our own righteousness to the flawless righteousness Christ has bestowed upon us. 

In the coming year, let's always be seeking to rest in the finished, completed work of Christ. As we strive to change, let's remember that God delights in us because of who Christ is, not because of who we are. Let's refuse to place any trust in our own good works, and instead place all our trust in Christ. Let's stand on the solid rock of Christ. 

Change happens in an environment of grace - grace that is found only in Christ.