LAMENTATIONS 3:22-23 – The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”
THEME OF THE DAY: NEW YEAR PURSUITS. Well, it’s upon us again – New Year’s Eve. The calendar rolls into a new year tomorrow. Despite all that is depressing in our world, there will be many who are looking to the new year with dreams, wishes, hopes, and yes, those things called “New Year’s Resolutions.” Speaking of New Year’s resolutions, I was curious about their history. One source cited they were started by the ancient Babylonians over 4,000 years ago. Whether true or not, people make them. Probably most are geared around the physical and that particularly after coming out of the holiday period when much liberty might be taken on what we eat resulting in some possible weight gain. Others might make resolutions toward work; striving to work less and spend more time with family. The list is long and wide. I would even venture to say Christians might be making some “New Year Spiritual Resolutions” like reading the Bible through in a year, praying more, or increased faithfulness to church. Personally, I am not a resolutions-making type of guy. However, establishing goals and pursuits are good. We need direction. We need a plan and a good spiritual life will have a plan that contains both goals and pursuits. So, with that introduction, allow me to offer two “New Year Pursuits for Christians” that hopefully are already regular spiritual disciplines in our lives, but if not, let’s make them so.
First, resolve to know Jesus more this year than the past year – Let us know; let us press on to know the Lord; his going out is sure as the dawn; he will come to us as the showers, as the spring rains that water the earth (Hosea 6:3). Pay attention here. Not knowing more ABOUT Jesus, but growth in the relationship with Jesus which will be manifested and affirmed by our growth in His likeness. This means quality time in the Word, prayer, and faithful sitting under the preached Word in our churches, not for the gaining of knowledge but for the transformation into His image – And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit (2 Corinthians 3:18). But we must be reminded with the resolve to know Christ more is the call to great and costly self-discipline of our flesh and time.
A second worthy new year pursuit is further detachment and deliverance from the influence of the world – Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever (1 John 2:15-17). Friend, the biggest spiritual danger we face is the world distracting and cooling our affection for Christ. And it won’t be “big and sinful bad things” but good, even wholesome things. For instance, we might be committed to good and worthy events, activities, and associations, but if they take up all our time leaving nothing for kingdom work and spiritual investments with people, we are being defeated by the world and rendered ineffective Christians.
Well, it is that time of the year again. Maybe we are New Year Resolutions people, maybe not, but regardless, may the Lord give us Holy-Spirit generated new year resolves to know Christ more and be less attached to the world into the new year.
PRAYER: “Father, help me to be more disciplined, more resolved, and more active in seeking You this new year.”
QUOTE: “Let the dawning of a new year bring about a new resolve to know the Lord and live more fully for Him.”
Because of Him,