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A New Beginning

Chances are, some who are reading this already have broken at least one of their New Year’s resolutions. Join the club. What makes New Year’s equal parts exciting and frustrating is the hope that this year will be different but it never is.

If you’re living the Christian life in that “Groundhog Day” way, no wonder you’re not experiencing the peace and the joy that you were singing about just a couple weeks ago.

It’s easy to load yourself up with to-do lists as a Christian. I should read more Bible. I should pray more. I should invite people to church. I should serve. But it’s always deadly to see your relationship with Christ first as a duty and then to make up for the lack of your desire for Christ by just trying harder.

Christ’s foremost image of how to flourish as a Christian is to “abide”—literally to live inside his love. The point is never to base the health of your relationship on you, and how you can get closer to God. The point is to know and believe that he has an already-present, always-flowing, extraordinary and abundant love for you that just needs to be recognized and received as a gift—the kind of “inexpressible gift” that makes you want to respond to his love.

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