The new year has only just begun, and we are all still working hard to keep those New Year's resolutions. You know, eat more healthy, exercise more, spend more time with the family, read my Bible more, pray more, save more money, spend less money, and the list goes on. Most of us want an improvement in life and want to "become a better you."
The Bible does give us some very practical advice that can be applied to New Year's resolutions. In Romans 13:14, we are told to put "on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lust thereof." Making no provision for the flesh, is one good way to keep some of those New Year's resolutions. Eat more healthy by not having junk food or other tempting things around the house; spend less money by shopping less and/or getting rid of apps that allow you to spend and buy things online; spend more time with family, read your Bible more, or pray more by getting rid of things that take time away from those more important things. While the end of that verse is one that we often hear in regards to changing things in our life, the beginning of that verse should also encourage us in this area.
What does it mean "to put on our Lord Jesus Christ"? A quick cross reference will bring you to Galatians 3:27 which says, "For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ." In the early church, when a person was baptized, people knew that that person now identified with Christ and the Christians. The term "put on" as used in the time of the early church, many times meant more than to just "dress in" as in putting on clothes. It meant "to cover or clothe to the point of saturation" even to the point of becoming whatever you had "put on." Think of that, we are supposed to become Christ-like or be so saturated with Him, that that is all people see. Another place that you see this phrase "put on," is where Colossians 3:10 and Ephesians 4:24 tell us to "put on the new man." We first see that these early Christians were baptized, therefore identifying themselves with Christ—"putting on Christ." Then they were told to "put on the new man" and "to put on Christ." In other words, they were to be so saturated with Christ that there is no question that they were His.
Think of it this way, often times we hear that someone has been fired or put on leave because they did something that was not found to be in agreement with the code of conduct expected by an employee of the company for which they work. In places where kids wear school uniforms, some have been suspended or expelled because they have been out and about and have behaved in a way, while in uniform, that was not appropriate for a student attending that school. On the flip side, we have seen a company receive praise after an employee, who happened to be on his/her way to work and in uniform, goes out of his/her way to help someone in need. We may be reluctant to act in an unacceptable manner while we are in uniform, while wearing or having some other identifying tag, or while we are driving with a "JESUS" bumper sticker; but as a Christian, we are clothed in Christ every day, and we should "put on Christ" in a way that covers us and only allows people to see the One with whom we have been saturated.
While we make no provision for the flesh in this new year in a bid to keep our resolutions, may we also remember to "put on Christ" to "become a better you."