A new year feels like a fresh start, a chance for a do-over. It feels like a time to refocus, a time to focus on the bigger picture of life after a holiday season that became micro-focused. Whether or not you make new year resolutions, most of us start the new year with at least some thought as to what we’d like to do, or perhaps do differently in the year ahead.
Who wouldn’t want 2016 to be our best year yet?
From a survey of 5,000 people, a recent ABC News poll listed the top five new year resolutions:
#5 – Save more, spend less
#4 – Spend more time with family
#3 – Lose weight
#2 – Live a healthier lifestyle
#1 – Enjoy life to the fullest.
The list doesn’t surprise me. Wouldn’t at least three or four of these be on your list? Even if you hadn’t thought of it, isn’t #1 what you ultimately long for? Isn’t #1 what we hope #2-5 will obtain for us? Instead of surprising me, this list inspires me. It reveals so clearly that all of us long for the very thing God created us for. The very thing found only in Jesus:
“I came so that they may have and enjoy life and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows” (John 10:10 AMP).
Jesus came — He came from heaven to earth so we can have and enjoy life. Not just any life, not just a good life — a life with few problems, plenty of money and a loving family. It’s better than that. Jesus came so we could have HIS life, eternal life: the life and holy perfection of God in us, both now and forever. This truth is beyond amazing. This life is more than we knew to want. And it’s far, far more than we deserve. GOD, in His unconditional love and supreme wisdom, ordained to fill us with His life. I don’t understand it, I can’t comprehend it, but I am blown away each time I experience it.
One of the most basic facts of the universe is this:
“God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son does not have life” (1 John 5:11).
Think about what God just said: The person who doesn’t have the Son doesn’t have life. They don’t have the fullness and abundance that God created us for. Possessing the life of God in you is the absolute only way to enjoy life to the fullest. His life in you is most effectively released and experienced by you as you become obsessed with Jesus. It’s a holy, God-commanded obsession. It’s Way #40 of 52 Ways to Glorify God:
Be obsessed with Jesus
Here’s what I’m learning: I can seek to live according to the commands of God. I can seek the things of God, fight for faith in and stand on the promises of God. But it all comes much easier when I’m obsessed with Jesus, when my primary pursuit is to see and savor Him. This past Christmas season was uniquely special. I believe it was because I was intentional to worship and adore Jesus. Way #40 is the next step. It’s an intentional seeking and beseeching of God to open our eyes and plant firmly in our mind and heart the fact that Jesus is Life! All life — all we want out of life — is ultimately found in Him and comes through an intimate relationship with Him. John 1:4 AMP says of Jesus:
“In Him was life [and the power to bestow life], and the life was the Light of men.”
The One who created all things is the only One who can fill and bring soul-satisfaction to the ones He made. At the beginning of every day, in every situation and in every emotion, may our first thought be:
Just give me Jesus.
Know Him, behold Him, worship and adore Him.
Familiarize, internalize, gaze and fix your eyes on Him.
Crave Him, require Him, listen to and believe Him.
He is the visible image of our invisible God.
God came in human form so we could relate to and understand Him.
May the cry of our hearts for 2016 be: Just give me Jesus. If it is, I am convinced that 2016 will be our best year yet.
“O God, You are my God, earnestly I seek You; my soul thirsts for You, my body longs for You” (Psalm 63:1).