It has been two years since the outbreak of Covid. We have lost millions of lives and hundreds of millions of people have been infected. And we are still not out of the woods. After the Delta variant, Omicron has become a new variant of great concern. Countries around the world have swiftly responded with tightened travel restrictions and safety measures.
Praise God for His provision of the vaccines, the boosters, and despite the turbulent situation on earth. “It is a land the Lord your God cares for; the eyes of the Lord your God are continually on it from the beginning of the year to its end.”(Deuteronomy 11:12)
Clean up for the new year
As the New Year approaches, many of us clean up our houses to welcome a new beginning. As Christians, we also clean up our “spiritual spaces” and renew our “spiritual lives”. We reflect on ourselves and get rid of things in our lives that do not please God, such as bad habits and evil thoughts.
Here are some of what we can clean up:
Since the beginning of the pandemic, our lifestyles have greatly changed. Children have remote learning. Adults work from home. We are always behind the screens and lack in-person interactions. We become lazy, unmotivated, and even hopeless. Many businesses have trouble looking for workers because people are not willing to work
- Addicted to Internet
As we spend more time on the internet, we immerse ourselves in news, soap operas, and social media. Too often, we let the internet overrule our lives and ruin interpersonal relationships. Browsing online could poison our minds: violence, abusive language, pornography, and immoral conduct.
Some Christians believe surfing on pornography websites is acceptable, giving the devil a foothold.
The bible teaches us to “set apart, because God is holy”. (Ephesians 4:27)
“But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk, or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving.” (Ephesians 5:3-4)
By God’s Grace, we can set a good example of holiness and even maintain a good marriage.
- Spiritual Indifference
Some Christians are so used to virtual church meetings in their comfort zones that they unknowingly keep a “social distance” from other Christians. Purging the indifference, we can avoid being lazy but be fruitful as the bible says: “ … keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (2 Peter 1:8)
- Let go of the past
Although we may have felt weak, hopeless, and defeated in the past, we can choose to let go of the past so as to glorify God. Let’s learn from Apostle Paul’s encouragement: “… Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead.” (Philippians 3:13)
- We are new in Christ
Paul in the Bible understands that even though we are determined to renew ourselves, we might be hindered to move forward. Paul said “ For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing.” (Romans 7:18-19)
However, Paul also said that “What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (Romans 7:24-25) Therefore, when we repent and accept Jesus Christ as our savior, our sins are forgiven and we are made new with the grace of the Lord. The bible says:
“…if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come. The old has gone, the new is here! (2 Corinthians 5:17)
“to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” (Ephesians 4:23-24)
In addition, if we continue to follow Christ and learn with the Holy Spirit, we would continue to grow and bear spiritual fruits – “…the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control…” Galatians (5:22-23). A truly renewed life can be totally different and beautiful!
While we clean up to welcome a new year, I wish you a new life of eternity and fullness with repentance, rebirth, and renewal in God.
Happy New Year!