No doubt about it, there is something exciting about starting a new year!
Maybe it has to do with all of its possibilities, expectations, and hopes. Or it could be that by the time we reach day 365 of a year, we’re just so ready for something…well, new – and especially after the very difficult year that just ended.
But, for whatever reason, it is an exciting time — a time of new beginnings, opportunities, and hope. Yet, despite the excitement and expectancy, I wonder if we, as royal priests of the Most High God (1 Pet. 2:9), will approach this year with a right perspective. One where the Lord is foremost on our minds, where we have a burning desire within our hearts to obey and serve Him — and Him only, and where we give Him a sincere invitation to be a part of every area of our lives — on every part of the journey.
As servants of God, we must always view things from His perspective. And Scripture says a lot about ‘new’ things — things we do not usually consider when we’re all caught up ‘ringing in’ a New Year.
*the people of God walking in newness of life and serving in the newness of spirit (Rom. 6:4; 7:6);
*us being new creatures in Christ Jesus (2 Cor. 5:17); and,
*of course, the promise from the Lord that He will one day make all things new (Rev. 21:5).
Now, within the context of what Scripture says about ‘new’ and ‘newness,’ the question then becomes, as a young cousin once asked so pointedly, “What shall I [we] render unto the Lord for all of His goodness” (Ps. 116:12)?
I don’t know what your answer may be, but for me it is that I show (not just talk about) my love for Jesus by obeying His commandments (John 14:15) — and that I not forget to apply the lessons of 1 Kings 13.
So, as we begin this new year and new season, I pray that we will produce, or continue producing, good fruit — fruit that will remain to the glory of God our Father (John 15:16). I pray that we will work where God has placed us — without becoming distracted by the cares of this life or the deceitfulness of anything or anyone. I pray that we will properly use our gifts and talents to complete our specific Kingdom assignments here in the earth.
Finally, I pray that as ministers of the Lord Jesus Christ, we will (1) cease from the hype and promotional methodologies that are designed to attract people to church but not necessarily to a real relationship with the living God through the redemptive work of Jesus; and (2) that we will allow the Holy Spirit to purify us and then set us on fire so that we, empowered by Him, can purposefully and authoritatively be about our Father’s business because . . . time is short and Jesus is soon to return.
Father God, how grateful we are that You have allowed us to see another year — thank You! And while we will be thankful for the many new things that we will experience as we move through the year, we will be especially grateful for Your immutability — that You change not and You cannot lie.
Ahhh, thank You, Father God, for Your grace, tender mercies, and renewed hope in 2021! Thank You for Jesus who securely and steadfastly anchors our souls — not only in this year but throughout the ages and worlds to come!