January 1, 2017

NEW YEAR / NEW ME – Starting the Year Off Right

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! 

2 Corinthians 5:17 (NIV)

Happy New Year, everyone.

The last time January 1
st fell on a Sunday was in 2012, and the next one won’t be till 2023. So it really is a big deal to have January 1st
fall on a Sunday this year. We get to start the new year off on the Lord’s Day. It’s God’s way of giving us a new start. Like the beginning of a new day, a new week and a new month, a new year is a way of wiping the slate clean and getting another chance. We all could use another chance!


So, the last phrase of the preceding verse says,
“The old has gone, the new is here!”

2016 has gone, 2017 is here!

The “old” refers to something used up, worn out.

The “new” refers to something unused, untouched.

How many of us like new things? Of course we do! Even used things that are new to us, we call them “lightly worn” or “gently used” or “vintage” so we won’t feel bad that someone already used them up and wanted to get rid of them. Something “old” is something “used up.”


But a new year…well, that’s something everybody wants! It’s brand new! It’s a new chance to succeed, to accomplish something we didn’t do last year. We get hopeful, we make resolutions, we believe for something better.
Unfortunately, many enter a new year as the same old persons.

Unchanged lives will use up a new year and have little good to show for it at the end.

How then shall we live in this new year?

The first phrase of our verse says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come.”
The key to a new year is a new me
The key to a new me is to be in Christ
To be in Christ is to have a new relationship with God through His Son.

In Christ means to live as redeemed and regenerated in the environment of the resurrection life of Christ Himself.

Redeemed (redemption) is explained in Ephesians 2:13 (NIV) “But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ.” The blood of Jesus is the payment made to the Father for the sins we have committed against Him. To be redeemed means to have been purchased and belonging to Jesus, our Savior and Master.

Regenerated (regeneration) is to come back to life. In John 5:24 (NIV) Jesus explains this: “Very truly I tell you, whoever hears My word and believes Him who sent Me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life.”

All this—and much more—occurs only when we are in Christ

In Christ, life is a vital, vibrant, pulsating, dynamic and functioning involvement with God and His Holy Spirit.

If this first statement of 2 Corinthians 5:17 is true, then the second is too…

The new creation is the new you every new day!
It’s not just a once-in-a-lifetime thing.
It is God at work in our spirit, soul and body

New thoughts for the mind

New feelings for the heart

New activities for living

New principles for service.

“In short, the new birth is a miracle—the result of the supernatural operation of God. It is radical, revolutionary, lasting!” —Arthur W. Pink


So, here’s the challenge: What will you do with your 2017?

Will you be the same old youor will you be a new creation in Christ?

How will your life be different and better in 2017?

ECCF will begin 2017 with a time of Fasting and Praying. 

Fasting is giving up a meal or more every day for the purpose of teaching our body and soul to submit to God and desire Him more than food.

Praying is learning to be in God’s Presence and training our spirit to hear His Voice.

Isaiah 58 is an excellent chapter for reading and studying God’s thoughts on fasting and praying. Fasting is not just abstaining from food as a sign of humility. It is also doing acts of compassion and showing kindness to others. This is God’s chosen fast.


And once we have fasted and prayed, when we have linked the two together, Isaiah 58:9 (NIV) says, 9Then you will call, and the Lord will answer; you will cry for help, and He will say: Here am I.

14 Then you will find your joy in the Lord, 

How many times have you called on the Lord and the answer doesn’t to come? With fasting and prayer, the Lord will answer.

How many times have you cried for help? The Lord will say, “Here am I.”

Verse 14 says, “Then…” After we have prayed, fasted, humbled ourselves and acted kindly toward others, THEN“you will find joy in the Lord.”


A New Year…A New Me!

A New Chance…I in Christ and Christ in me, 2017 will be my best year ever!