For many of us, the New Year is a time to welcome in a better year with the people who matter. There’s no overnight magic from the 31st to the 1st, but we all hope for change. We don’t only hope for change for the world around us, but we long for change in us too.
Perhaps some of these sound like you:
Spending time by yourself over the vacation, you get to know yourself more. Has this been your inner voice?
If it is – and you feel burdened by the weight of who you’ve been – this January, remember the words he angel spoke to Joseph:
‘She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.’ (Matthew 1:21)
Jesus came to suffer for your sins, nailing them to the cross, and removing them as far as the east is from the west! Now we wait for when He returns at the end of this age to welcome the dawn of a new one. In Him, there is perpetual fresh start.
As forgiven people, we live in this joyful freedom and have a future hope which we can offer to others. It’s often heard said that setting our hopes too high leads to disappointment. But in the gospel, that’s not true – we have a secure hope higher than any other.
Without this gospel, friends may feel the burden of keeping up resolutions, and making all the right choices in 2023, despite being unable to. They’ll put their hope in self-improvement rather than in a forgiving God. Or they’ll hope in changes to the news cycle rather than Jesus’ plan to make all things new. How can we start conversations about the hope that Jesus gives? How can we remind ourselves of this truth and begin the new year with the right priorities?
Why not begin by discussing New Years’ Eve with friends, and then think through together:
These questions are for honesty among friends – a chance to talk about regrets and our inability to change who we most deeply are by ourselves.
Why not share your own answers with friends that you trust? Then share the freedom you’ve found in Jesus.
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