By Scott Hilgendorff / Cowboys of the Cross

As we get rolling on the new year, some of you have set resolutions and goals. I’m not here to say don’t do that, I’m here to say, don’t set yourself up for failure.

Resolutions and goals can be traditional like hitting the gym harder or deciding to win a buckle, event or qualify for a finals. They can also be something harder as a Christian resolving to end an activity, habit or lifestyle choice that is a sin issue for you.

Not a bad idea at all for us to want to fight against sin in our life. It’s often seen as evidence that our salvation in Jesus Christ is real, when we desire to move away from sin and be more like him.

Romans 6:14 For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace.

So right away, we see an encouragement that sin is no longer in control of our lives because we’re not under law.

What that means for Christians is that once we have a saving faith in Jesus Christ, there is no longer anything else we have to do to be right with God and gain entry to Heaven when we die.

Before Jesus, the Jews had complicated rules that had to be followed in order to be in right standing with God. Then Jesus came so that not just the Israelites, but all of us, could be made right before God and gain entry to Heaven. Many of the rules the Israelites followed involved sacrifices. Jesus came to be a final sacrifice and through his death, he took on the punishment that otherwise would be given by God for any sin we have and that would otherwise keep us from his presence in Heaven and instead be left condemned to Hell. By believing Jesus was the Son of God, died for our sins, also was resurrected, we can be saved from God’s punishment of sin by truly being repentant of our sin and asking to be forgiven.

THEN we have grace, the second part of what is mentioned in the verse from Romans. We are no longer going to be judged by God and there is nothing else we have to do to earn more from Him. Jesus gave himself to give us everything.

It doesn’t give us permission to live sinful lives and do whatever we want to do, but it gives us grace for when we mess it up. It means if we fail at a resolution, fail to make a change, fail to fully conquer a sin we struggle with or fail to live up to any standard we or others set for us, God loves us the same and, through what Jesus did for, sees us as perfect and is waiting to welcome us to Heaven.

You are free to set your goals, make your resolutions, but you’re also free to fail WITHOUT discouragement. Jesus loves you more than you could ever hate your biggest mistake or failure. That’s why he died for you. YOU.

If you haven’t found that saving faith in Jesus, you don’t have to wait for midnight to have it, you can repent and be forgiven right now.

If you are a Christian, well, go get it with the confidence that win or lose, you get it all in the end.

Happy New Year from all of us at Cowboys Of the Cross. We look forward to every opportunity you give us this year to try to serve you, minister to you or otherwise help you know Jesus or become more like him. We’re all works in progress right alongside you.

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