The New Year is upon us, and many of us have embarked on a journey to better health.  I think about that as I lace up my running shoes and head out on my neighborhood route.  The problem is, the second part of my neighborhood is on an incline. Largely uphill, some days it keeps me from setting out in the first place. Other days, I just want to turn back and take the easy way. On the best days, I find a way to power through my route; and I always feel better for it.

Life is like that. Being a Christian is like that. Some days we feel great like we could conquer the world, and other days it’s all we can do to crawl out of bed.  Sometimes, we may even feel like it would better just to give up.  The thing is, Jesus wants something awesome for your life.  If you turn back now, how will you ever know?

Once we encounter Jesus, we are never the same.  Sometimes, we may not even know what happened, or how we’ve changed, we just know we have.  We can keep moving forward because Jesus changed us, from the inside out.

Paul wrote much of the New Testament in the Bible.  He was a prominent leader in the early church. He also screwed up – a lot. In the book of Philippians – particularly chapter 3, he tells us that he may not be perfect, but he keeps moving forward.   In Philippians 3:13-14, Paul tells us that his focus is on forgetting the past and looking forward.  He says, “I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.”  If you’re holding on to something in the past, God wants you to know that you need to let go and trust Him with your future.

Friends, growing means changing. It means letting go of anything that holds you back. No matter what you’ve done, or even what you will do, it’s time to go all-in for Jesus in 2015. He wants amazing things for your life. Let Him do it. With Him, your life can change; and your story can change other people’s lives. People impact communities. Communities change the world. You can be different; and more importantly, you can make a difference this year.