New Year’s Revolution • Conquest – 2/12/23

Almost all of us have something we want to change. It could be our spiritual practices, bad habits, or how we handle different situations. The problem is, that’s easier said than done. To successfully change, we have three questions to answer. First, what drives change? We’re frequently motivated by reactions; we see something we don’t like and react to it by wanting to change it. Other common motivators include guilt, embarrassment, and fear. Becoming like Christ is the true motivator of change. Any change we make to act in ways that Jesus would act is a good change, no matter what the change is – it’s not just limited to church! Every change towards goodness, kindness, grace, righteousness, and love is a change towards the teachings of Jesus. The motivation to imitate Christ is powered by grace! From the moment we accept Christ as our Savior, God is changing us through grace. The second question is who does the work of change? Change is a cooperative endeavor between us and God. Grace is an invitation to join in the good work of Christ, but we don’t do all the work alone. This means we play an active role in deciding how we change. It also means that God knows we will fail without him, and freely offers his help. God is the constant we can rely on to help us along the way. He never changes because he is already perfect, so we know we can trust where he directs us. Finally, we ask how do we change? Slowly! God gives us the gift of slow change so we can do it in small, manageable steps. The problem with New Year’s Resolutions is we try to change too much, too fast, and fail. Good things take time, even though the world tries to tell us differently. To figure out what steps to take, we must look to the destination, so we know which way to go. Then, we think about the small ways we can move in the right direction. Taking one slow step at a time adds up to form transformational, revolutionary change. This doesn’t mean we’ll never fail, but when we do, God forgives us and helps us to start again. Through the power of grace and with the help of God, we can become a clear example of Jesus in the world.

Scriptures – 2 Corinthians 3:18, 5:17; Hebrews 13:8; Philippians 3:12-14; Matthew 26:31-35, 69-75; John 21:15-17

Verse – We all show the Lord’s glory, and we are being changed to be like him. This change in us brings more and more glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. (2 Corinthians 3:18)

Thought – Peter, one of Jesus’ closest disciples, failed many times at honoring the Lord, but Jesus didn’t hold it against him. Instead, Peter changed (one step at a time) from average fisherman to a founding member and leader of the early Church. 

Questions – What change is God prompting you to make? How can you break that process of change into smaller, more manageable steps? What does acting like Jesus looking like in your life? How can you accept God’s grace and forgiveness after you fail? Does it frustrate you that change is usually slow? Why?

Response – Identify a change you want to work toward. Determine the first step and take it! Don’t worry about doing it perfectly, just do your best. God’s grace will forgive your failure and power your efforts. He will guide and sustain you in any change that glorifies Him. The process is slow, but the progress is worth it.

Prayer – Gracious God, thank you for your design of change. Thank you that we get to work with you and receive the gift of slow change. Help us to be driven to reflect your love in every part of our lives. Teach us what steps to take to become more like you. Amen.

About the Author
Children's Ministry Director