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Inside Out

Is it really 2018? Seems like the "Y2K" craze was yesterday. In many ways this year will be no different than previous years. Annual life events will continue without coercion. We'll witness graduations, engagements, and weddings. New homes and first cars will be purchased. Best-selling books and blockbuster movies will be released. There'll be hirings and firings, tidings of birth and, sadly, announcements of death. What about you? How will this year be different for you? What will separate it from every other year of your life? Answers to these questions may be connected to a short or long list of New Year's resolutions. Talk of transformation abounds, and life goals voiced all around. Facebook statuses, Twitter feeds, and Instagram photos are all full of bold declarations of future, imminent change. Despite similar claims in Januaries gone by, this year will be someone's year, right? Perhaps the most ubiquitous NYR goes like this: This year, I'm going to get in shape! Can you relate? Of course you can. Living room sweats and gym memberships. Cardio and cross fit. Lose fat, then gain muscle. Plyometrics and planking. Build endurance while toning up. Chuck junk food and chug raw smoothies. And the wheels on the bus go round and round.

But, have you ever considered God's New Year's resolution for your life? Is it possible for Him to have a say in the matter? I believe He does. Your goals and aspirations notwithstanding, God also has plans for you this year. Above the echoes of motivational speeches, inspirational messages, and appealing pitches another voice can be heard. His timeless declaration is as relevant today as it was when first uttered:

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11

What an assuring word for 2018.

God has a plan with you in mind. It's tailored just for you. He's customized the details and fine tuned the timeline. He's numbered the reps and listed sets. Indeed, God wants you to get in shape. But, it might not be how you think. Many will aim for external transformation, but God desires to change you from the inside out. He wants more than sculpted biceps, chiseled abs, and defined calves. God wants to shape your heart.

I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. Ezekiel 36:26

God's first step to a new you is to give you a new heart. You might not have budgeted for a heart transplant this year, but there's one on the docket and it's already been funded. So, this is your year. A new you is on the way.

See, I am doing a new thing! Isaiah 43:19

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