I popped into a cobblers the other day to get my boots re-healed. I work in a quaint market town which has retained its old cobblestones in and around the market place. Whilst it looks ‘oldie-worldie’, walking around on the cobblestones has meant that the heals on my shoes and boots have taken a ‘hit’! As I walked into the little cobblers just near the market place, the shop attendant was taking down their Christmas decorations. I remarked that it was sad to see the Christmas season coming to an end (a season I particularly enjoy). She responded that it was time for them to be taken down as she didn’t want to go too far into the New Year with them up in the shop.
I have been thinking about that short conversation since and I believe in contains a mini object lesson. There are some things that you should not carry into the New Year and there are some things you definitely should take into the New Year with you.
It’s not often that we stop to do a ‘stock-take’ on life, but I think that God set up this whole calendar system to provide us with such an opportunity. As we human-beings pass from one year to the next, we should do a ‘stock-take’ on what we want to ‘take down’ from the past year, as we do with our Christmas decs, and what we want to take with us into the New Year.
These questions became especially poignant for me recently. Upon returning to work in the New Year I learned that one of my employers had died suddenly at the age of just 42. It was a wake-up call. I decided that I would do a ‘stock-take’ of the things I wanted to carry with me into 2014.
How do we know what to take into the New Year? Well, I think the yardstick is found in John 10:10. Jesus said “The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance to the full, till it overflows.” (Amplified Version).
Many have commented regarding Jesus’ purposes in coming to this earth but Jesus Himself said that he came that we might have and enjoy life. He also said that it is the thief (Satan) who comes to steal, kill and destroy. So, the yardstick for deciding what to ‘take down’ from the past year is this: anything that is stealing, killing or destroying you, take it down. That could be something that is stealing your valuable time, a relationship with someone who is abusing you, ‘killing’ you mentally, emotionally, financially; something that is stealing your money, something that is actually killing you physically. Think about it! What are you allowing to steal and kill and destroy from you? That’s right, I said: What are you allowing? The choice IS yours!
On the other hand, what’s the good stuff you should be taking with you into the New Year? If you haven’t decided to invite Jesus into your life and be in relationship with Him, then this has to be the first thing you should take into the New Year! Jesus said that He came to give us life. No Jesus, no life! With Jesus we can have the most abundant, overflowing life that we could imagine and more! We can have the best of life in every area of our lives – spirit, soul, body, finances and relationships. Jesus can show us how to be in the best shape we could ever be in this year, in whatever area we need.
At this time of year the world has a lot of ‘advice’ when it comes to New Year’s resolutions, so you can ‘be the person you have always wanted to be’. I have seen many a sign advertising: ‘A New Year – A New You!’ But we all know that most of it won’t sustain you through January, let alone the rest of the year! Being with Jesus, however, is the best ‘make-over’, the best fitness plan, the best financial plan, the best relationship you will ever need. So take Jesus with you into this year and you will be amazed that the reality will be a truly blessed New You!