I’m sitting here early on New Year’s Day, long before most people will get up, thinking about the beliefs that so many people put into this day. Technically, at it most basic point, today’s date change is just a number. It is an accounting system to keep track of time. That’s it.
But many people place a lot more into than we should. I include myself because even I have had the thought that maybe the accounting change would bring about better times than the last set of numbers. We think that we can start over on this day. We lie to ourselves to believe that every thing is now new, and it’s time for a fresh start. But, it is just that, a lie.
We are not new this morning. The same sins and problems we had yesterday, are still with us today. The evil that ran rampant in society, has not magically gone away. It’s still there, waging war on mankind.
It’s worse than that though. The evil in our hearts, that plague the soul, is still there, warring against the very Spirit that gives us hope. The battle continues. The gospel of the New Year is a false gospel, a false hope. It is powerless to change us, or our world.
Ah, but there is hope because there is a true gospel that does bring about real change. That is the gospel of Christ. This is the gospel that so few people want, but it is the only gospel renews us in the spirit, brings us peace with God, and eventually our fellow man. It is the only gospel that deals with the wicked heart, and our sins that eternally damn us. It is a true gospel.
Most of mankind hate that which brings true change in us. Our flesh doesn’t want to submit to a Holy and Just God. We don’t want to bend the knee, and confess our sins to the Holy One of Israel. We hate that. This is why there are so many false gospels in the world. We want to find hope in any thing but Christ. It won’t happen. Any hope we may find, is fleeting. Only God’s Spirit in our lives can change that.
This is my hope for the coming year. I hope that God’s Spirit and His Word will have its way with us, and we will be renewed, made knew, cleaned but still being cleaned. We will learn to love Christ, and not this world. We will live for His Kingdom and not man’s kingdoms. We will see joy in His word, and not the so many falsehoods the world puts before us.
Do I want newness? Yes, I do. But I want that newness to be found in the mercies of Christ, which is true mercy, true grace, not the mercy put forth in an accounting system.