“I suppose when we take on January 1 the world will look the same. But there is a reminder of the Resurrection at the start of each new year, each new decade. That’s why I also like sunrises, Mondays, and new seasons. God seems to be saying, ‘With Me you can always start afresh.'”
Most people begin the new year with resolutions or goals they plan to accomplish. Typically, a few weeks before January 1 rolls around I prayerfully ask the Lord to impress upon my heart a Scripture verse which will be my focus for the new year. This year I forgot to ask Him, but as I rolled out of bed and my feet hit the floor on January 1, Ephesians 5:15-17 ran across my mind. “Be very careful, then, how you live-not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.” Recognizing God’s call on my life and how He desires me to spend my time, helps me become more intentional and focused on what pleases Him.
Just this morning I took the plunge and called a professional organizer to come to my aid of de-cluttering and putting things in order to streamline and simplify my life. After introducing myself, I told her the Beattle’s song of “Help, I need somebody…” would be appropriate for me to sing to her! She instructed me to discern my top priority in life because once I know that then it will be easier to say no to the distractions which prevent me from satisfying it.
I look at the new year as a clean slate in regards to my relationship with God. Lamentations 3:21-23 reminds me I don’t need to wait for the new year to have a fresh start, but I can begin anew each day. “Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.” My heart is encouraged, realizing His daily new mercies are mine, not because I have done something to earn them, but because of His great love.
Where in your life do you need a fresh start, a clean slate, your sins being as white as snow? (Isaiah 1:18) In what area are you desperate for a word of hope and encouragement from the Lord? What do you need to forget and receive God’s forgiveness in and what do you need to believe, in order to move forward in God’s destiny? Where do you need to start over and in what area do you have to experience God’s resurrection power?
In closing, agree with me in prayer by reading aloud the following petition written by Frances Ridley Havergal. “Another year is dawning; dear Father, let it be, In working or in waiting, another year with Thee. Another year of progress, another year of praise, Another year of proving Thy presence all the days. Another year of service, of witness for Thy love; Another year of training for holier work above. Another year is dawning, dear Father, let it be, On earth, or else in heaven, another year for Thee.”
“You can never change the past. But by the grace of God, you can win the future. So remember those things which will help you forward, but forget those things which will only hold you back.”
Richard c. Woodsome
1. Prayerfully ask God for His 2014 Scripture verse in which you place your focus. How will that impact your new year?
2. Where do you need to receive God’s forgiveness, having your slate washed clean?
3. In what area(s) do you need His resurrection power to invade?