This is the start of a new year. A time when we get all reflective and think of what we want to change from years gone past, what we want to achieve in the months to come and how we will go about it. And I have been thinking too. I don’t think there is any special power that comes with the start of a new calendar that gives us the ability to make the grandiose changes we so often dream about at the start of January and have forgotten about within a couple of weeks.
But there is a special power that enables us to change, to be transformed. By the power of the Holy Spirit at work in us we can “be transformed by the renewal of your mind” (Romans 12:2). New Year’s Resolutions have no power and will not last, for they depend on our willpower which is so often far too weak. But resolving to make this a year of going all in for God is something that could radically change everything, and is something we will not be alone in, for Jesus promised the Spirit helps all who trust in God to achieve all that God has called us to.
I was reminded recently of the widow in Mark 11 who gave two small coins as her offering while the rich around her were throwing in bundles of spare change. For the widow the two coins represented everything she had. She took all she had and gave it to God. The rich took their spare change and gave it to God. They thought they were great for giving so much, and looked down on her minimal contribution. But Jesus told the gathered crowd “Truly, I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the offering box. For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.” (Mark 11:43-33). So often I think I am guilty of being like the rich people. I have lots, and I give God the scraps. I give Him some of my pay, but the vast majority remains with me. I give Him some of my time, but TV and Netflix usually gets more. I spend time praying, but mainly for me. I do spend time studying the Word, but social media, blog sites and newspapers get much more of my attention. How might things change if I gave God my all? How might things change if we give God our all this year?
May we strive, through the power of the Spirit at work in us, to make 2015 a year of going all in for God. No holding back. It is time to surrender all. All to Him, our precious Saviour. For nothing we give up for the sake of the Gospel is a waste. We will not regret on the day we enter through those heavenly gates things we sacrificed for the purpose of going all in for God. Love so amazing, so divine demands our life, our heart, our all.
So let’s resolve to throw away the resolutions about eating healthily and going to the gym more that are probably already broken, and instead, through the power of the Holy Spirit at work in us, let us chose to give God our all. No holding back. This is the year to go all in. All our ambitions surrendered to Him. All our energy used for His plans. All our thoughts fixed on “whatever is true, whatever is honourable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable” (Phil 4:8). All of our resources available to God, not just our spare change. All in for the sake of the Kingdom. Who’s in?