The Promise of a New Year
Every year people celebrate the New Year, hoping that things will be better than before. A well-known definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting a different outcome. What are the elements necessary for good and lasting change? Answer: an accurate perspective, knowledge of the truth, and a willingness to change. Let us, therefore, consider our present world. The world started 2020 with the usual high hopes for the future. Then a highly advertised flu with uncertain numbers quickly took center stage, but some questioned the coverage. Entire countries did not isolate and wear masks with outstanding results. One side stands on the previous beliefs about natural herd immunity, and the others accept a new narrative of isolation by all. It all comes down to this; who do you trust? It is easy to trust in things taught from your youth and people of the same, but how can one know the truth? It is just as easy to trust "science" and professors because it is assumed they are being honest or without mistake. The Psalmist has the answer for us. "I love the LORD because He hears my voice and my supplications. Because He has inclined His ear to me, therefore I shall call upon Him as long as I live. The LORD preserves the simple; I was brought low, and He saved me. ...You have rescued my soul from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling. I said in my alarm, 'All men are liars.' " (Psalm 116: 1,2,6, & 11) In verse six, the author tells us that the LORD preserves the simple, or it might be translated, "open-minded." The problem with trusting in people and education, in and of themselves, is that truth becomes removed from the person of God, who alone is the source of truth. The person who trusts God, whom he knows personally, can also know the truth. Nothing closes man's mind faster than deliberating and leaving God out of the equation. God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble, and with grace comes the knowledge of the truth. A Trustworthy Promise My dear readers, the person who trusts Christ to save them from God's anger against sin, which is self-centered, God-hating, and unthankful for being created, also receives His nature. The first character trait acquired is humility to admit to wrongdoing toward God. The second is repentance from trust in ourselves, mankind, and earthly, natural, demonic wisdom (James 3: 15). The third is to love others, thereby considering them more important than ourselves. The problem with the hope that the future will be better is this. People do not naturally change for the better. Sin in men replicates itself in every proceeding generation, and its effects will not change by education, technology, or New Year's resolutions. "Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all mankind, because all sinned." (Romans 5:12) Despite modern science, man remains the war-making social creature he has always been. A life-altering transformation must take place for lasting change. "Therefore if anyone is in Christ, this person is a new creation; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come." (2 Corinthians 5:17) Jesus said He would return, and when He does, He will bring with Him all those who believed in the saving of their soul. However, a verbal profession must accompany a changed heart proven by transformed behavior and a renewed mind. Apart from a change of mind, emotions, and the place in man's soul where moral choices occur, there can be no lasting change. The Bible calls such occurrence repentance.
"Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter." (Matthew 7:21)
An individual encounter with the Lord Jesus Christ is necessary for lasting change!