By Gloria Wessner
The custom of making New Year’s resolutions, according to one source, dates back to 153 B.C. Janus was a fabled king who lived near the beginning of the Roman Empire era. He was placed at the start of the calendar year as he was always depicted with two faces – in this manner he could look back on past events and forward to the future at the same time. As a result, Janus became the ancient symbol for resolutions. This became a symbolic time for Romans to make resolutions for the new year and forgive enemies for troubles in the past.1
It’s interesting that after all these centuries, the New Year is still a time of new starts, resolutions, new diets, new ways of doing things (or attempts at it!), new intentions, a time to now ‘get fit,’ and perhaps new attempts to make things right with certain people.
Jesus has, without doubt, given us the handle and the tools with which to make necessary changes we need or want to make in our lives. The most important change we can make for our self is to seek a new life with him. When we choose to do that, than we are already well on our way to being equipped to make those desired changes, whatever they may be.
It’s already been said that the ancient Romans chose forgiveness from their enemies at the new year. To us here in the new year of 2018, it can be the perfect time to seek forgiveness from God for choosing our own way instead of letting him come into our lives and helping us to live his way, which is the most fulfilling way there is. When we choose this, then we become equipped through his Holy Spirit to make things right with an individual, to make those changes we want to make in our personal life, and to live a life of goodness, kindness and generosity to those around us, as he does.
The following words of God show how this works:
‘Because of Christ and our faith in him, we can now come boldly and confidently into God’s presence…’ (Ephesians 3:12 NLT) This sentence alone is amazing – with our self centred and sinful backgrounds we are able to come boldly into the almighty God’s presence when we choose Christ and choose to live his way!
‘When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth. I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.
Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen.’ (Ephesians 3:14-21 NLT)
This cannot be done on our own – permanent, lifelong lasting transformations and life soul changes (for example, like where you go when you die) are only done by God’s power and work in our lives. Resolutions are good, but this kind of change we’ve talked about goes to the heart of the matter (our own heart change) than an “I’m going to do such and such in 2018.”
‘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. All this is God’s doing, for he has reconciled us to himself through Jesus Christ;…’ (1 Corinthians 5:17… Phillips)
If you are interested in knowing more about how God can change your life, or if you’re struggling in your relationship with God, feel free to email me at [email protected], and I will be glad to chat about things with you.
Photo credit to: By Loudon Dodd – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=7404342