Youth News - January 2013
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YOUTH NEWS
January 2013
by Matt Kay

Followers of Christ are people who are repenting of sin and trusting in the Gospel — the good news that sinners can be fully accepted by God because Jesus was fully rejected in our place at the cross. Jesus promises that those who trust and follow Him can have an “abundant life,” not just in the future, but now (see John 10)! As we enter a “new” year, I want to share two “new” aspects of the abundant life that we have been given in Christ...

A New Creation

A day is coming when Christ will return and bring a New Heaven and New Earth where all things will be made new (see Revelation 21). We have not yet experienced this full renewal of the creation, but we have received the gift of being reconciled to God (see 2 Corinthians 5) through Jesus’ suffering on the cross, and in Christ we have already received the first taste of that New Creation! This is why St. Paul can say, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come” (2 Corinthians 5.17)! As God’s people, we get to be a living preview of that future world by being people who are forgiving, reconciling, and healing the brokenness in our world through God’s grace and the Power of the Holy Spirit at work in us!

A New Commandment

At the Last Supper, Jesus gave the disciples a new command to impact their relationship to one another: “Love one another as I have loved you” (John 13.34). In this New Year, take time to daily draw near to God and to reflect on how Christ has first loved you — how He laid down His life for you, how He forgives you and gives you righteousness before God, how He never leaves or forsakes you, how He never casts out those who come to Him...

A Couple New Year’s Thoughts

Are you putting your trust in Jesus? Is there a relationship or a situation in your life today that needs the healing, reconciling, or forgiveness that Christ has first offered to you?

Trying to live the Christian life is impossible by working to earn God’s acceptance or by trying to be a “good person” by mere willpower. The Gospel teaches us not to live for God to get accepted, but to live for God because we believe in Christ and already are accepted! God wants our lives to be motivated not by guilt, fear, pride, or the need to earn anyone’s acceptance — He wants our lives to be motivated by His great love for us and His great power working through us!

May you be so thoroughly changed by believing in His great love that you in turn can make sacrifices for others, share the Gospel with others, and be a loyal and faithful friend, parent, or spouse to others in your life. May you truly love others as Christ has first loved you!

Matt Kay

 
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