I often think Christ's death and resurrection go hand in hand with the idea of renewal. Seeing as it is now officially Spring, I am beginning to see the signs of renewal in nature. If I look very closely at the trees and bushes around my home and neighborhood I can see buds. These tiny, seemingly insignificant changes in nature signal something we all depend on...new life, renewal and change. The thing that thrills me about it is, I get to start over. Just like in the morning I wake up and thank God for a new day, a chance to try again, and maybe do better than the day before.
God has given us many chances to do it over, the "it" being life in general. Every season is a chance to change things up, whether it be winterizing our homes, raking leaves or planting a garden. These are all things that signify change and change is often good. The new year allows us another chance to embrace change. Why do you think so many of us make New Year's Resolutions? Because we honestly would like to make ourselves and our lives better.
So it is with Easter. Not only does the holiday fall close to the actual seasonal change from winter to spring, but it comes about at a time when pots of hyacinth, daffodils and tulips grace the stores and delicious colors fly onto the clothing racks. We are ready for a change. Why not make this a time to ponder other changes besides those in the seasonal realm? Instead of our broken New Year's Resolutions, let's start again with a few New Life resolutions.
When Christ rose from the dead, He brought about an incredible change in the spiritual realm. Death and the law, no longer held power. Those shackles were tossed aside for tethers of choice and bonds of love. What I choose to do today, I desire to do for Jesus. I no longer feel obligated to be "good". Now I desire to show my love to the Great Warrior Prince who saved me.
What sort of New Life resolutions you decide to make will depend on where you are at in your relationship with Christ. Perhaps you have only recently given your life and heart to Him, so for you a resolution might include reading the Bible on a regular basis, finding a church to be involved in and seeking forgiveness from individuals you may have hurt. Someone who has walked with Christ for a while may make a resolution to delve into deeper study, perhaps reading some of the old time authors such as D.L. Moody, Andrew Murray or A.W. Tozer. Perhaps they also decide to make a change in the sort of ministry they are involved in, rather than just being a student at a Bible study, starting one of their own.
For me, I want to live day by day. I have been reading through Andrew Murray's Abide in Christ for a while now and I would like to get back to that. Murray's principal is simple, abide, abide, abide. Christ lives in us and we abide in Him. Abiding is the art of keeping Christ ever before us, day in, day out, moment by moment. I haven't mastered that yet, but that is exactly why I need an occasional do-over....a reset, a reboot, a chance to start again.
The above passage is a pertinent reminder of what renewal is all about. It is based on God's lovingkindness, compassion and faithfulness. These are new every single morning and so much more every single moment. He is my portion and that is why I have hope. Hope for renewal and hope that He will help me have the resolve I need to live a step above where I was living yesterday.