New Year, New Beginnings

New Year New Beginning

New Year, New Beginnings

January 9, 2020

The best time for new beginnings is now. – Unknown

The beginning of a new year always creates the perfect backdrop for new beginnings. During the first few days of 2020, posts depicting new year resolutions or single-word targets flooded social media. I joined in the flurry when I published my last blog post. 

But in the midst of all the new year hype, one scripture came to my mind which seems to negate all the hopeful anticipation attached to 2020:

What has been will be again,

    what has been done will be done again;

    there is nothing new under the sun. (Ecclesiastes 1:9 NIV)

A cursory reading of this Scripture casts a shadow of doubt over the possibility of new starts. However, when studied in context, this passage leads to a deeper understanding. 

Solomon, the author, cites many recurring patterns found in nature: the rising and setting of the sun; the ebb and flow of the winds; all streams flowing into the sea; and generations of people who come and go. 

Some scholars believe the use of the phrase “under the sun” indicates Solomon did not mean to include spiritual principles in his claim of “nothing new”. His words reflect how a life lived outside the presence of God is meaningless. 

While Solomon only focused on the physical world, spiritual truths also follow patterns. For instance, the Bible teaches us:

A man reaps what he sows. (Galatians 6:7b NIV)

Few of us would argue this point. When we make resolutions, we try to change our outcome (what we reap) by changing our behavior (what we sow). 

Unfortunately, a problem often arises because our behaviors follow patterns as well. Recently I read a statistic stating 8o% of new year resolutions fail. We simply fall back into old patterns of behavior.

Alexander MacLaren, a Bible Scholar and Commentator noted the following principles as effective change agents:

  • Conviction: When we adopt a new belief, it alters the direction of our lives. 
  • Affection: When we embrace a new love, it transfigures our lives.
  • Motivation: When we assume a new passion, it enhances all aspects of our lives.

When we choose to follow Jesus, we naturally experience changes in convictions, love and motivation. For this reason, He is the ultimate change agent:

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! (2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV) 

Now is the perfect time for a new beginning. Rather than sowing changes in our behaviors, let’s concentrate on deepening our walk with Jesus. New convictions, greater love and nobler motivations will produce the changes we seek.

To reap a harvest of lasting change, we must intentionally sow the proper seeds. 

As I continue on my road in this new year, I pray to focus on the One who makes me new. As you embrace your goals for 2020, I pray the same for you.

New Year, New Beginnings

January 9, 2020

New Year New Beginning

The best time for new beginnings is now. – Unknown

The beginning of a new year always creates the perfect backdrop for new beginnings. During the first few days of 2020, posts depicting new year resolutions or single-word targets flooded social media. I joined in the flurry when I published my last blog post. 

But in the midst of all the new year hype, one scripture came to my mind which seems to negate all the hopeful anticipation attached to 2020:

What has been will be again,

    what has been done will be done again;

    there is nothing new under the sun. (Ecclesiastes 1:9 NIV)

A cursory reading of this Scripture casts a shadow of doubt over the possibility of new starts. However, when studied in context, this passage leads to a deeper understanding. 

Solomon, the author, cites many recurring patterns found in nature: the rising and setting of the sun; the ebb and flow of the winds; all streams flowing into the sea; and generations of people who come and go. 

Some scholars believe the use of the phrase “under the sun” indicates Solomon did not mean to include spiritual principles in his claim of “nothing new”. His words reflect how a life lived outside the presence of God is meaningless. 

While Solomon only focused on the physical world, spiritual truths also follow patterns. For instance, the Bible teaches us:

A man reaps what he sows. (Galatians 6:7b NIV)

Few of us would argue this point. When we make resolutions, we try to change our outcome (what we reap) by changing our behavior (what we sow). 

Unfortunately, a problem often arises because our behaviors follow patterns as well. Recently I read a statistic stating 8o% of new year resolutions fail. We simply fall back into old patterns of behavior.

Alexander MacLaren, a Bible Scholar and Commentator noted the following principles as effective change agents:

  • Conviction: When we adopt a new belief, it alters the direction of our lives. 
  • Affection: When we embrace a new love, it transfigures our lives.
  • Motivation: When we assume a new passion, it enhances all aspects of our lives.

When we choose to follow Jesus, we naturally experience changes in convictions, love and motivation. For this reason, He is the ultimate change agent:

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! (2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV) 

Now is the perfect time for a new beginning. Rather than sowing changes in our behaviors, let’s concentrate on deepening our walk with Jesus. New convictions, greater love and nobler motivations will produce the changes we seek.

To reap a harvest of lasting change, we must intentionally sow the proper seeds. 

As I continue on my road in this new year, I pray to focus on the One who makes me new. As you embrace your goals for 2020, I pray the same for you.

7 Comments

  1. Beth Barber on January 10, 2020 at 2:27 PM

    Once again, the right words at the right time for me. ” a life lived outside the presence of God is meaningless”. How true. Could the reason 80% of our resolutions fail be because we do not anchor them to Him? Just some food for thought.

    • Shirley Desmond Jackson on January 10, 2020 at 2:54 PM

      Thank you, Beth! I appreciate your encouraging words. And yes, I agree, we need to anchor our resolutions to Him in order to achieve lasting change.💕

      • Beth Barber on January 12, 2020 at 2:55 PM

        Amen Shirley! ❤

  2. Auli’i Giron on January 13, 2020 at 5:08 AM

    Great New Year advice❣️You Inspired my soul🥰

    • Shirley Desmond Jackson on January 13, 2020 at 5:57 AM

      Thank you Auli’i. Your friendship continually refreshes my soul.💕

  3. Charla on January 18, 2020 at 6:44 PM

    Yes! I love discovering all the “new” in me because of Christ 🙂 As I grow more like Him I consistently discover how my ways are changing. I find myself stating, “Father, I know I am a new creation because not so long ago I would have (fill in the blank with all the ways of my old self).” I’ll spare myself embarrassment and leave it blank! Great teaching post, Shirley!

    • Shirley Desmond Jackson on January 20, 2020 at 7:44 AM

      Thank you Charla! It is always so encouraging to be able to see how much God has transformed us. Thank you for sharing and for your encouragement.💕

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