When do you feel most alive? After a near miss accident? When home for Christmas or on vacation with your loved ones? When you take in a small glimpse of the beauty of God’s creation? When you lose someone you deeply love? Sometimes it takes a major life event to wake us up to the realities of life. To make us appreciate what we so often take for granted….life itself. How about when you fall into the day to day routines of work and life, are there any practices that you do weekly or even daily to renew your spirit? Things that encourage you or serve as reminders that you are truly alive and living boldly for God?
Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Psalm 51:10
Do you stay up late to usher in the New Year at midnight, or go to bed early and hope to sleep in an extra 30 minutes the next morning. I have attended events where we have brought in the year with prayer and worship with thousands of other Christians, and I have done it with a small group of family and friends, or by myself – Just me and God. I can’t say one was more meaningful than the others, but just appreciated life and where God had me at the time. If anything, take a few moments to reflect on what has transpired over the past year and thank God for the little blessings in your life and what opportunities the coming year holds.
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 2 Corinthians 4:16
How often do you renew your commitment to God? When you experience a major life event, or whenever you feel like you messed up somehow? Maybe every morning that you wake up alive. Some churches with a liturgical service recite many of the same things each week, even from memory. Is this good? It could serve as a memorized reminder of what you believe, or you could fall into a rote routine and just say words without any real knowledge of what they mean to you. How often do you need to be reminded of what you believe or to renew your pledges? Can you recite the Apostles Creed or the Nicene Creed from memory? Do you believe it? We can be prone to temptation either by routine, or lack of it. Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.
He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior. Titus 3:5-6
So, however you bring in each New Year, or each day in your life, find some practices that help you strengthen your spirit and tune your heart to God. Speak with Him regularly from your soul and He will direct your steps. If you don’t already do so, find a small group or someone to meet with regularly so that you may encourage one another in your faith walk. Celebrate life as each new day arrives and thank the One who gave us this life, one life, to live for Him.
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Romans 12:2
Born again in Christ,