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What makes a new year a New Year?

There is something about the word “New” that is refreshing and that brings hope and excitement. With a new year we have the opportunity to put the past years hurts, disappointments, and even failures behind us and look with anticipation and excitement to a fresh start and a new beginning. But what will really make this year different from last year? Better resolutions? Trying harder? Wishful thinking? Probably not. In and of ourselves we are more likely to keep doing what we’ve been doing and hope for different results.

As always, our real hope is in the Truth of God’s Word, and 2 Corinthians 5:17 tells us:

“For if a man is in Christ he becomes a new person altogether-the past is finished and gone, everything has become fresh and new.” (Phillips)

The key to true and lasting change is our personal, abiding, one-on-one relationship with the person of our Lord Jesus Christ. Not a verse a day to keep the devil away, but a meaningful relationship with a Person who is alive and well and seated at the right hand of the Father. A Person that we can know at least as well as any other person in our life. A Person who gave His life to restore that relationship and who gave the invitation years ago to “come unto Me you who are weary and heavy laden.” As with any relationship, this one is built with quality time. Daily time spent in His Word and in prayer. There are no shortcuts, there is no easy way, but neither is there any place where we might invest our time that will bring a greater return of love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, gentleness, and self-control. And what more could we hope for in a New Year?