How About a Makeover for the New Year?
As 2023 breaks across the horizon, we have a wonderful opportunity to review the previous year. What kind of year was it for you? Are the highlights happily playing in your memories, or do you find your attention being drawn to some ‘make rights’ or ‘do-overs’?
This new year stretches out before us like a blank page waiting for the next chapter of our stories to be written. It is in these moments that we find perhaps the best vantage point from which to renew our need for our relationship with God to go deeper, and our love for Him, and for all those whom He loves, to grow stronger than ever before.
This relationship with Jesus is a transformational experience. As our hearts are drawn to His, and we get to know Him more each day, we actually become more like Him. Over the years many of us have heard God’s call on our lives and have likely experienced glimpses of a vibrant, living and growing relationship with Him.
In Psalm 51, we find perhaps the most profound illustration of someone who is not only aware of his own personal brokenness, but who also realizes that his need for confession, forgiveness and renewal has never been greater.
After having been chosen and anointed to be the next king of Israel, David spent a lot of years running from one challenge to another just trying to survive. When he finally ascended to the throne, it is clear that he didn’t always keep his focus on God. As with all of us, David was often very interested in what he wanted, attracted to things and experiences that pleased him.
We remember the horrible part that he played in the Bathsheba and Uriah chapter of his story. Not until the prophet Samuel explained things in graphic detail did it finally strike home to him. And when it did, he was wrecked emotionally, spiritually and physically!
2 Samuel 11-12 shares the devastating details, however his journey to renewal with God is in Psalm 51. In spite of his faults and failures, after this journey, God described David as a man after His own heart. This is going deeper in a relationship with God.
Perhaps it all begins with time that is intentionally invested in getting to know God as we have never known Him before. Such a focus will lead us to His Word where we will find very important counsel. Then, we engage Him in conversation, sharing our thoughts and challenges, with thanksgiving for His Grace. He promises to “guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus” and to give us the “peace that passes all understanding.” In these times of communion and a deepening relationship, we will grow in our understanding of how absolutely cherished we are by the Creator God who has redeemed us with the assurance of our eternal salvation.
When we tell others about this Jesus who adores us, saves us completely, walks with us daily, is present in our lives and is coming back to take us to be with Him very soon, we actually bear witness to His personalized blessing in a single life - our life. When another person becomes excited about Jesus, we have done exactly what He has called us to do: inspire another to become His follower. May 2023 be our best year yet!
By Phil Robertson