“Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”
There is just something about the start of a new year that gives us the feeling of a fresh start and a new beginning. Now is the time when people all over the world claim a new life in a new year. I think we call it a “New Year’s resolution”. Truth is…we don’t start over; but we begin again right where we are, making things better in our lives.
As a believer in Christ, it is not about saying I will do this and I won’t do that and then dropping the idea or falling short. It is more about asking the Lord to help us each day, to fall deeper and deeper in love with Him. This way our focus will be set on the things of heaven and not on all this earthly stuff. Many of our cliché “New Years resolutions,” are broken within a few months. Why? Because it is what it is, cliché! It’s just a familiar expression. It’s not a resolution built on faith. A resolution is simply a resolving to do something. Philippians 4:13 tells us, “I(YOU) can do everything through Him who gives me strength.” John 15:5 declares, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” If God is the center of your New Year’s resolution, it has a chance for success, and that of course depends on your commitment to it. If a resolution is not God honoring and/or is not in agreement in God’s Word, we will not receive God’s help in fulfilling that resolution. Moreover, there is no power in a New Year’s resolution. Did you know the most popular New Year’s resolution is to excercise more and lose weight? But, why do you want to lose weight? Is it to honor God with your body, or is it for vanity, to honor yourself?
“He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:8) You see, Our Lord Jesus Christ knows what is good for us. HE already knows what’s to come in 2013. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11)
So instead of clinging to the cliché, (1) pray to the Lord for wisdom (James 1:5) in regards to what resolutions, if any, He would have you make; (2) pray for wisdom as to how to fulfill the goals God gives you; (3) rely on God’s strength to help you; (4) find an accountability partner who will help you and encourage you; (5) don’t become discouraged with occasional failures; instead, allow them to motivate you further; (6) don’t become proud or vain, but give God the glory. Psalm 37:5-6 says, “Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.”
Scripture of the year: “The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.” (Numbers 6:22-26)
Have a blessed New Year in Jesus Christ! Amen and Amen!
By Pastor Peter Okereke Jr
The Living Word Ministries
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