I am as happy as the next person that the door on 2009 is securely closed. With the exception of a few family events and Alabama football, 2009 was an awful year. But as I was considering 2010, something else kept coming to mind: a new birth. Without the new birth, 2010 will be tragically similar to 2009.
Abbey and Noah were baptized in November. The closing phrase that is most often used in our baptism is, “Buried in the likeness of Jesus Christ, raised to walk in newness of life with Him.” One of the things that the kids and I have discussed this year as they sought to understand repentance and faith (even though they didn’t know that’s what they were doing) is that once they know that God is calling them to follow Him, then He has made them new and put His Spirit within them. God gave them new hearts this fall and I can tell the difference. Praise the LORD!
However, no fundamental difference exists between December 31, 2009 and January 1, 2010; the “new” is all in our heads. We make resolutions and set goals to improve ourselves, but all will come to nothing if our hearts are not new, that is, if we have not experienced the new birth. “Do not marvel that I say to you, ‘You must be born again'” (John 3:8).
May 2010 be a year of walking in newness of life with Jesus Christ in the power of His Spirit for the glory of God.