For many, the first day of the year is a time to start fresh, wipe the slate clean, and act on their new year’s resolutions. I’ve made my fair share of resolutions, and have even used Jonathan Edwards as inspiration for a list. I’ve also simply turned the calendar over and spent the day like any other.
However one chooses to spend their first day of the year, motivation to do right is always a good thing. But here’s a newsflash: you are going to fail.
No matter how disciplined and determined you are, you are going to fail IF (and that’s a big ‘if’) you “in your own strength confide” (Martin Luther, A Mighty Fortress). Self-reliance is not a biblical virtue, and just as we can do nothing to save our souls from condemnation outside of Christ, we can do nothing to make our goals with perfection outside of Christ.
This is not supposed to be an anti-motivational speech. It’s a reminder that everything–everything–in, within, and about us, is because of Christ, through Christ, and for Christ.
“I need Thee every hour, stay Thou nearby; temptations lose their power when Thou art nigh” (Annie Hawks, I Need Thee Every Hour).
And that’s why January 1st doesn’t have to be the one day to start again, because for a child of God, every day is like New Year’s Day. Every day is fresh with our Lord. Every morning His mercies are new. Every moment of every year I’m still saved by the blood, still wiped clean, and still given grace to resolve to take up my cross and follow Him.
Soli Deo Gloria!