We all know about ringing in the New Year. We celebrate the previous year (or that it’s over, as it would have it for many of us with the closing-out of 2016) and look forward to what the next 365 days might have in store for us. We make plans, we set goals (or resolutions) and, hopefully, we invite some friends to hold us accountable in the days ahead.
Essentially, we start a new lap in the race that is our life. We begin running in the new year.
Hebrews 12.1-4 tells us this – “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter or our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.” (ESV)
There are many witnesses watching how you run your race. This is not some sense of “big brother is watching” or people cataloguing every mis-step or stumble you may have; rather, this should only embolden us to live out the glory of the gospel of Christ Jesus in all that we do, in all that we encounter, each and every day of this new year. Each day holds in store opportunity for work, for rest, for worship, for forgiveness and for grace.
It should remind us to passionately put to death the sin in our lives as we continually look to Jesus (and get our eyes less and less focused on ourselves).
It should encourage us to embrace the challenges before us in both killing sin and attempting great things for the Lord’s Name to be magnified through these days he has given us.
Run hard, Christian. Endure well to the finish (and even just these coming days). And praise, adore, worship Christ in all that you do!