A Great Start to the New Year
“Many, Lord my God, are the wonders you have done, the things you planned for us. None can compare with you; were I to speak and tell of your deeds, they would be too many to declare.”
This past Saturday I had a great start to the New Year. I threw myself a belated sixtieth birthday party. It was wonderful to be surrounded by family and friends that I love. In some ways it was a typical birthday celebration, complete with cake and party favors. But it was different in that the focus wasn’t on celebrating me, as much as it was on remembering and rejoicing in what God has done in my life. I told my guests that I was grateful they came to honor me, but that I was there to honor God.
Honor means to “revere or to glorify.” One of the ways we honor God is by reflecting on his goodness and thanking him for how he’s come through for us. After the Israelites miraculously crossed the Red Sea on dry ground, with a wall of water on their right and on their left, and after God saved them from the hands of the Egyptians, Moses and Miriam began to sing a song to the Lord. “I will sing to the LORD, for he is highly exalted. The horse and its rider he has hurled into the sea. The LORD is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation. He is my God, and I will praise him, my father’s God, and I will exalt him.” (Exodus 15:1-2) Exodus goes on to say that Miriam took a tambourine and led the women in a dance. I spared everyone embarrassment by NOT singing or dancing!
In Joshua 4:1-9, the Israelites were instructed to set up memorial stones after they had crossed the Jordan River in remembrance of God’s performance of another miracle in their lives. Their stone monument became a memorial to remind future generations of what God had done. So too did I desire to highlight my magnificent God. I took a few minutes and shared the tangible and personal ways God had revealed himself to me over the past sixty years. As I reflected on the various stories, I made a pile of my own memorial stones.
In closing, I encouraged my family and friends, to take home their own little bag of edible chocolate stones, so they could reflect on the Red Seas God had parted on their behalf, as well as to honor him with their thanksgiving. I can’t think of a better way to observe the New Year, but by celebrating God and all he has done for us.
“O God, you have taught me from my earliest childhood, and I constantly tell others about the wonderful things you do. Now that I am old and gray, do not abandon me; O God. Let me proclaim your power to this new generation, your mighty miracles to all who come after me.”
1. Spend time reflecting on the various ways God has shown His goodness to you.
2. Honor him with your thanksgiving.
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