In addition to common greetings like "Merry Christmas" and "Happy Holidays" and "Happy New Year" around the holiday season, there can be another one: "Happy New You!"
This is not just due to New Year's resolutions to lose weight, exercise more, save for a vacation, or plan for retirement. This positive greeting comes from a positive impact that Jesus Christ is able to produce. God gives good things. He adds blessings and benefits, brings truth and triumph, gives salvation with a song, and continually restores lives and resurrects hope.
The Bible says, "If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." (See 2 Corinthians 5:17).
Becoming a new creature in Christ is a powerful experience. The new birth initiates a process of newness that continues with Christ's presence. His presence is the best present we can receive.
Consider the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22. Love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance are in the list. The passage goes on to say there is no law against these. There are no negatives.
Moreover, the Lord desires to add to our faith. The qualities that 2 Peter 1:5-7 contains is again totally positive and includes virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, brother kindness, and love. This abundance is typical of what Jesus can do.
Angels rejoiced at the birth of Jesus. In Luke chapter 15, He said the angels rejoice over one sinner that repents. Indeed, when the spiritually lost are found and the spiritually dead come alive, there is reason for rejoicing. Old things pass away and all things can become new.
These changes continue in the eternal realm. Revelation 21:4 names the elements of life that bring suffering. These will be no more. In heaven there will be no tears and crying, no death and sorrow, or any pain. These "former things are passed away." Verse 5 of that chapter contains the promise, "Behold, I make all things new." All things can become new, not just a few; not just for a period of time, but now and forever.
My family rejoiced last year when a grandson, Maxton, was born in March. We had great reason to rejoice again in September when our oldest son Michael got married to Megan. This was especially true because she also experienced what was promised in 2 Corinthians 5:17. Birth and new birth are exciting reasons to rejoice.
As you continue on into the New Year, look to Jesus to bring new and good things to you. He can help you through the tough times, and bring you into the good times.
Mitch Glover is pastor of the Sterling United Pentecostal Church located on Swanson River Road at Entrada. Services on Sunday include Bible classes for all ages at 10 a.m. and worship at 11 a.m. Thursday Bible study and children's church are at 7 p.m.
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