A New Year celebration doesn’t change anything.

At midnight on January 1, people all over the world had all kinds of rituals to usher in the New Year – fireworks, noisemakers, partying, kissing people at midnight, toasts with champagne, wearing polka dots, jumping up and down, and so much more.

But while it had that seemingly all-important switch from December 31 to January 1, it was also just another week. Just another Sunday becoming Monday. Because a New Year doesn’t change anything.

This is seen in the famous New Year resolutions that don’t make it past three weeks. Promises to diet, intentions to get fit, decisions to live more wisely – most of these good thoughts will not make it one month, much less a year. Because we don’t magically change just because it’s 2018.

Real change doesn’t come with a change of date. It comes with a change of mind that produces a change of direction. We mustn’t expect that we’ll have a different, improved, and better life just because it’s 2018.

But there’s also good news. Real change doesn’t come from a change of date, but that also means we don’t have to wait only once a year for a change. Real change doesn’t come from a date. But for those in Jesus, we are constantly on a process of renewal and improvement.

Real change comes from having our minds renewed.

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

– Romans 12:2

Those who believe in Jesus are made new to be like God, righteous and holy.

To put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.

– Ephesians 4:22-24

Hoping in God gives us new strength.

Though youths grow weary and tired, and vigorous young men stumble badly, yet those who wait for the LORD will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary.

– Isaiah 40:30-31

Even when our bodies feel old and weak, our spirits are always being renewed, giving strength and life to our bodies.

Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day.

– 2 Corinthians 4:16

This process of renewal continues for the rest of our lives until we enter into our full glory as sons and daughters of God.

And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.

– Romans 8:30

A New Year doesn’t change anything. But a relationship with Jesus changes everything.