As the crisp air of January whispers promises of a fresh start, many of us feel the familiar tug of resolutions. We yearn to shed the weight of past indulgences and step into a brighter future, both in our personal lives and in our relationship with God, and are excited to start the year strong with our new goals. There is determination to stretch those ambitions to the whole of 2024, rather than let them fizzle out after a few weeks or months like some goals did in 2023.
But what if this year, instead of solely focusing on new resolutions, we embraced the power of spiritual rededication and focused on old spiritual goals we have set before?
Each of us had our own path of perseverance and dedication to make us who we are today, and get us to where we are today. This was not brought about by a constant fickleness of changing directions and installing new goals, but by rededicating and recommitting ourselves to goals that had been set before, and striving to meet them despite faltering on many attempts.
The truth is, faltering and straying are woven into the tapestry of the human experience. The apostle Paul, a beacon of faith, confessed, "For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice" (Romans 7:19). We are all susceptible to moments of weaknesses, when the pull of temptation very unwillingly overshadows our commitment to God. Yet, the beauty of Christianity lies not in our perfection, but in our constant pursuit of a closer walk with Christ.
The Bible is filled with stories of individuals who strayed from their paths, but found the strength to recommit. Peter denied Jesus three times in his darkest hour, yet found the courage to embrace forgiveness and become a pillar of the early church (John 21:15-17). David committed grievous sins, but poured out his heart to God in repentance, earning the title "a man after God's own heart" (2 Samuel 12:23). Their journeys remind us that spiritual rededication is not a singular act to spell victory or doom, but a painstaking, lifelong process of growth and renewal.
Each day presents an opportunity to renew our vows to God. It begins with a simple, yet powerful, choice: turning our hearts back to Him. This might involve embracing moments of quiet prayer either in solitude or with the saints, diving deeper into Scripture, or seeking fellowship within our church community. Every step we take, no matter how small, fuels the fire of our faith and brings us closer to the source of our strength.
2 Corinthians 5:17: "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new"
Our faith is not meant to be a burden, but a life-giving anchor that steadies us through the storms of life. When we stumble, the hand of God is always extended, ready to lift us back up and guide us onward. His unconditional love, captured in Isaiah 43:25, whispers, "I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions for My own sake; And I will not remember your sins"
As we stand at the threshold of a new year, let us not be burdened by past failings, but empowered by the promise of new beginnings. Let us commit to a deliberate journey of spiritual rededication, fuelled by the unwavering love of Christ.
Hebrews 10:23: "Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful"
May this year be a testament to the transformative power of faith and the joy of rededicating ourselves to the One who loves us beyond measure. Let us walk together, hand in hand with Christ, toward a future filled with renewed hope and unwavering commitment.