The young people of Charlotte Chapel enjoyed a Hogmanay party, bringing in the New Year with a ceilidh, followed by first-footing throughout the night. We began the festivities however with a service of reflection, looking back on God’s goodness over the past year and looking forward with anticipation to all that God is going to do in the year to come.
As well as some singing and time of prayer, Adam McNinch shared a challenging word with us about change. He began by highlighting some of the world’s most popular New Year’s Resolutions:
1. Lose weight
2. Get fit
3. Stop smoking
4. Stop drinking
5. Save money
However, as important as it is to look after our bodies and be wise with our money, it is much more important to identify areas of a spiritual nature that we need changed in our lives. Laziness, pride and gossip are but a few of the sinful characteristics he listed.
So many of us have failed to keep our resolutions before January is over because we think the changing is all down to us and our efforts! Praise God that He is the one at work within us by His Holy Spirit transforming us into the likeness of Christ. (2Cor 3v18) However this is not an excuse to sit back and expect change to just come about in our lives.
Adam went on to challenge our devotion to change in comparison with our devotion to meeting a deadline at school, university or in the workplace. How often do we stay up working late to finish a pressing piece of work, yet fail to put in time and effort to read the Bible and pray? Was it not Paul who prayed day and night for the Thessalonians? (1 Thess 3v10) How often have we fasted with a friend over a habitual sin, fully committed and earnest that God will bring about change in our lives? All too often, we are those who give up with little effort, writing ourselves off as unchangeable! Instead – let us find accountable partners who we can prayerfully share our desire to change with and regularly encourage and challenge each other.
So as we go into the New Year, let’s get our priorities right! Let us be excited about change and long for God to continue to pour more of his grace into our lives.