As we enter the new year, my thoughts go back to the Apostle Paul's second letter to the Corinthian Church when he wrote these words, "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." 2 Corinthians 5:17 (KJV)
This position is a real contrast to the way that modern man seems to approach a new year. We tend to look at how the political winds are blowing. We look at how the economical picture appears to play out in the new year and that is a major concern for many people. In Paul's day there was the same uncertainty about these factors as well as many other uncertainties. How much ink did Paul and other New Testament writers use on addressing these questions? Less than the amount of ink that could be contained on the point of a dip pen.
Paul's letter focused on the nature of the inner man or the soul of man. Paul speaks about the change coming not by a calendar date but rather on a person becoming a new creature in Jesus Christ. The passing of time has little effect on changing our lives in profound ways. Meeting Christ and inviting him into our lives is when radical things take place in our lives.
With Paul, meeting Christ indeed made him a new creature. It moved him from being a hater of the Christian movement to being willing to and lay down his life to insure the church's success. Paul's circle of friends changed. He was deeply embedded in the Pharisees circle and this conversion shifted him to a close association with those that made up the early church. He traveled the civilized world seeking to bring all those that would believe in Christ into the fellowship of Christ and his church.
This change that was experienced by the Apostle Paul was not reserved for him alone but all that would follow in faith and would believe that Jesus was the Son of God and Savior of the world. DL Moody was walking the streets of Chicago with a fellow minister when they happened upon a man that was drunk and lying in the street. The fellow minister began to berate the man lying in the street and complaining how terrible it was for the good people of Chicago to have to tolerate such people. DL Moody at this point turned to the visiting minister and said, "Save for the grace of God, there lies DL Moody."
Save for the Grace of God, where might we all be as we enter the new year. If God is at the center of your life, whatever happens in this new year remember all things work for the good for those that love the Lord and are called according to his purpose.