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

Yesterday, I received an email with a promotion code for an auto detailing place we used last summer. They arrived at our home in a van loaded with hoses, vacuum, soap, wax–everything they needed. I peeked out my office window occasionally to check on the progress. I could see the transformation on the outside as the clean and gleam happened, but I was genuinely amazed at the change inside. Seats had been shampooed, winter dirt and grime vacuumed, and the vinyl now shone. That was last April; when I drove the car again last week, I noticed that it needed to be done again.

When we accept Christ, a fantastic transformation occurs; our sins are forgiven! It's like the first time you drove a new car off the dealership lot. Everything is clean, shiny, and has that fresh car smell. But maintenance is required. To keep that car in that beautiful condition requires our attention. Reading and meditating upon God's word, offering prayers and praise, and caring for each other—including those less fortunate—are the spiritual equivalents of our detailer friend.

As we start this new year, along with whatever other resolutions we've made, let's pledge to renew our commitment to Christ, to spend time each day in spiritual maintenance. But let's not simply be content in doing what's necessary, but look at an upgrade package. If we're taking the standard option, let's move up to the premium–committing more than before.

We pray to you, Father, in the name of Jesus and by the power of the Holy Spirit, and thank you for the new creation we've become through your Son. We remember that encounter with gladness and offer you our grateful praise. Father, create in us the desire to grow into the likeness of Jesus. Help us to learn and obey your will–sharing, caring, and loving–so that all our actions reflect your glory. Amen.

May God richly bless your spiritual journey in this new year.

Pastor Tim

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