Real change starts with New Life, Not just a New Leaf

The thing I love about a New Year is all the possibilities it has to offer. A New Year offers newness, and a call to shake off any disappointments, setbacks and hurts from the past year and take hold of the future before us.

It brings a renewed opportunity for change, and growth as a person, and a reminder that often the change we need most is not in our circumstances, but in ourselves. 

Over the next few days we are going to look at some keys to change and transformation in our lives.

Real Change Starts With New Life, Not Just A New Leaf.

The very heart of the Christian faith revolves around change, but it is not turning over a new leaf—it is living out a new life.

Christian transformation always involves something old passing away and something new taking its place.

“Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold all thing have become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17)

We are constantly in need of this change, no matter who we are. But too many people misunderstand. They believe, “If I change, then God will like me more.”

“Religion says, ’I obey; therefore I am accepted.’

Christianity says, ‘I’m accepted, therefore I obey.’”  

The work of the Cross, causes my acceptance before God. Not anything I can do, but because of all that Jesus has done.

Trying to “turn over a new leaf” is a temporary fix. And it leads to the frustrating, cycle of always looking for the latest  “new fix” for our lives.

King Solomon realised that when after all his achievements, knowledge, wealth and fame he said “I learned that this is all a pursuit of the wind”. (Ecclesiastes 1:12-18).

Solomon’s realised the “folly” of hoping to change our own life. Solomon found that living that sort of life is no more than “chasing the wind”.

Rather than wasting our lives trying to change ourselves, God simply asks us to surrender our lives to Him, allowing Him to work in us.

What a relief. No more toil, no struggling, no chasing after the next thing, trying to “fix” ourselves. Just surrender! 

In John 3, someone who needed change approached Jesus. Nicodemus had the right background, the right spiritual training, and the right position in society, but had not been transformed. He was most likely moral and definitely religious. But Jesus informed him of the need to be “born again” (John 3:3).

Nicodemus did not need more rules but rather a new life.

Nicodemus, had to unlearn the idea that rules and regulations bring about lasting spiritual change. They don’t. Rules can modify behavior, but only relationship with Jesus can impart new life.

It’s not merely a new way of life. It’s a new life that will bring real change.

Don’t waste another day trying to just turn over a “new leaf” and change yourself.  Accept the gift of life you have been given, surrender and allow God to work in you.

Prayer: Lord thank you for the new life I have in you. I choose to surrender to you. Work in me today, and bring lasting change and transformation in my life. In Jesus Name Amen.