Christmas has come and gone. The presents have been opened. The wrapping has made its way to the recycling bin and the toys, no doubt, are scattered throughout the house.
Almost overnight we change the images we post on Facebook and Instagram from family Christmas pics in those depressingly cool Christmas (mind you, it’s way too hot for those on my side of the world) to New Years snaps. The change is inevitable.
Change is important in the Christian life. In fact, following Jesus starts with change–grace.
The gospel changes us. We are made children of God because of Jesus’ life, death, resurrection, and ascension. Because of this, we’ve not only been brought into God’s family but also made to live relationally with other Christ followers. You see, Jesus sends us out to tell others about him. Sometimes we tell people about Jesus using words, sometimes our actions.
Jesus served people. He healed people and delivered people. He stood up for people, reached beyond social divides, and welcomed the ostracized. Ultimately, Jesus served us by taking our sins to the cross. When Jesus calls us to serve others, it’s an invitation for us to show others what Jesus is like.
The point is, the gospel instantly changes our identity. We become part of God’s family sent as a missionary to serve those around us when we start following Jesus. Even though this change happens instantly, it often takes a while to get our head around.
Who doesn’t long for instant change? Isn’t this the fuel for New Year’s resolutions? Surely it’s because our culture demands instant gratification that so many of us fail to have the resolve to follow through our resolutions for more than a few weeks. Check out this list of the most popular New Year’s resolutions:
- Eat healthier.
- Exercise more.
- Save money.
- Focus on self-care.
- Read more.
- Make new friends.
- Learn a new skill.
- Get a new job.
- Take up a new hobby.
These are all good things, but all of them take time. There is no instant change.
A Thousand Small Choices
One meal doesn’t make a healthy diet. It takes more than a single run to master an exercise regime. Few people quit smoking because of a single decision. We need the big moments, but the big moments lack the power to produce lasting change.
Instead, New Year’s resolutions only are fulfilled when you commit to change. The big moment of eating healthier is only fulfilled by making a thousand small choices about food. Saving money looks backs at the daily decision not to buy that coffee or chocolate bar. In other words, there is a constant tension between the desire for instant gratification and a commitment to making small choices.
A Thousand Little Moments
What’s true for our everyday life is also true as we follow Jesus. Our identity changed the moment we began to follow Jesus. This is a Big Moment change.
But God wants to make us look more like Jesus. He does this in a thousand little moments where his grace works. Little moments where he shapes you to respond to the big dramas of life. Little moments where he is redeeming, restoring, and transforming. So, what do little moments look like?
- A thousand little moments of insight and conviction.
- A thousand little moments of confessing, and seeking forgiveness and restoration.
- A thousand little moments of humility.
- A thousand moments of faithful obedience.
- A thousand moments of seeking God’s kingdom rather than our own.
- A thousand little moments of worship.
That’s what Jesus is all about. He was Emmanuel – God with us. You see, as ‘big’ as the moment of his birth was, Jesus committed to being with us. He is present with you and active in all the little mundane moments. It is truly remarkable grace that evidences itself in unremarkable places.
I am a pastor, blogger and speaker. I help ordinary people connect with an extraordinary God, so they can follow Jesus in their everyday life.