1 Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish ruling council. 2 He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him.”
3 Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.
Nicodemus was a very good man. He was part of the religious sect known as the Pharisees. They were outwardly very moral people. You couldn’t find better people. They knew the Bible well and no one could accuse them of any wrong. But when he came to talk to Jesus, notice what Jesus says, “No one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit.” In other words, Jesus just said, “All your good works, all the things that you think make you righteous, they don’t get you into the Kingdom, Nicodemus.”
If your plan to make up for your mistakes in 2017 is to live a morally good life in 2018, you’ll never reset. Those mistakes will still dwell in your mind and on your heart throughout 2018. And ultimately, we can’t get to heaven by living morally good lives. It doesn’t work. Rather, Jesus says we need to be reborn. Just like a baby has no control on being born into this world, we have no control over being born into God’s Kingdom. But in our baptism, God brings us into his kingdom washing our sins away. He has dealt with your sins, mistakes, and failures from 2017, and because he has you have forgiveness and the confidence knowing that you are reset.
So this year, don’t focus on what you have to do to make for the past, rather focus on what God has already done. Why is it more comforting to focus on what God has already done instead of focusing on what you have to do?