Having accepted and confessed Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour, our Spirit is now transformed by Christ. Likewise, our minds need to be transformed by making a conscious decision to constantly renew our minds in Christ.
This is the beginning of our new life change – shaking off old habits, behaviour and thoughts. Your New Year’s resolution can be achieved in accordance with God’s will.
Romans 12.2 (ESV): "Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is acceptable and perfect."
To Mary, preparing for the birth of her very special baby, the journey to Bethlehem for the census must have seemed a strange mistake. Why ever did God allow it? Only as the shepherds told how the angels had announced his arrival, and the wise men came with gifts to worship, could she marvel at God’s plan. Let us worship with them.
An unexpected complication – Joseph’s fiancée was pregnant! Could her story be true? As Joseph worried, God reassured him in a dream. ‘Don’t be afraid. This baby is given by the Holy Spirit…He will save his people from their sins.’
The long promised Saviour would be born to Mary – What an honour!
Happy anticipation had slowly given way to deep disappointment. Zechariah and Elizabeth had no longed-for baby – it seemed their prayers would not be answered.
Then, in old age, Zechariah had a startling vision of an angel! ‘Your wife will bear you a son. He will make people ready for the Lord!’ Praise God! His ways are amazing!
It is good to remember where you came from so that you can appreciate what has been done for you. The guilt of sin has gone. All the sins of the past can be forgiven. When feelings of guilt come then there is forgiveness. Also, we must always remember that we have a new life in Christ
2 Cor. 5 v17 "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!"
What a joy to have this new life and to have a personal relationship with Jesus. We must remember to cultivate and deepen our relationship with the Lord.
Jesus desires to bring us into a personal love relationship with Himself. That is what starts when we accept Jesus as our Saviour and we are born again. We are in a “first love” relationship – this can be pictured in the realm of human relationships. Think back to your earlier days a Christian and of being in that first love relationship with Jesus. Sadly with many after a period of time, they lose that first love relationship. This was the case with the Church at Ephesus. Jesus said to them:
Rev. 2 v 4 – 5 “You have left your first love, remember from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works”
We must come back to that first love relationship and greater.
Hebrews 8v12 "For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness & their sins I will remember no more”. There are many who grapple with the fact of sin, and they have difficulty in accepting the fact that their sins are really forgiven. But, because of what Jesus did on the cross, in His complete and fulfilled work we know that our sins are forgiven.
Micah 7v19 "You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea".