I got a few new things for Christmas. I’m enjoying all of them, but one of my favorite gifts is a gray hoodie sweatshirt with the Steady On logo. My husband had it made for me, and I adore it. The sweatshirt is both personal and unique. It speaks to what is important to me and, at least for now, it’s the only one like it in the whole world.

In 2 Corinthians 5:17, the apostle Paul tells us that anyone who accepts Christ is a new creation. What does it mean exactly to be a new creation in Christ? I did a little investigating recently on the word “creation” used in this verse, and I came across something that deepened my understanding of the idea that we can be made new by accepting a relationship with Jesus.

At the risk of getting bogged down in a word study, let me tell you in simple terms that the Greek word for creation is associated with a few other words. These words talk about God making something that wasn’t there before that only God can make. It also points us to the idea of one acquiring something for oneself. God calls us to Him, continuously invites us to experience His love and grace, and keeps us to Himself in that we are His and He is ours.

Only God can bring out the best in us. Only God can take negative life experiences and expose the beauty that is in them. And God does this to draw us close to Him and use us in His Kingdom work. As we strengthen our connection with Him and experience His grace, we learn to love and trust Him more. As that process continues, we become changed. We are a continuous new creation as we walk with Jesus.

Like my sweatshirt, we are uniquely created. God designs us and grows us individually. He takes our personalities, our locations, and all the good and bad experiences, and makes out of us something this world has never seen before. There has never been and never will be another us in God’s creation.

And He holds us close to Him. He is possessive like a loving parent but without any of the unhealthy emotions that can go along with parent/child relationships. He keeps watch, He stays involved, and He wants to be the first One we run to when we are scared or in trouble. He lets us make our own choices, but He is always available, always loving, and always merciful.

As we greet this new decade, let us be mindful that wherever we are in our relationship with God, today is a day of newness and hope. We are His creation. That is good. And every day, we have the opportunity to be newly created. Our hearts can be more firmly linked with God’s heart as we spend time with Him, study Him, worship Him, and serve Him.

Happy New Year, friend. The best is yet to come.