Are you looking for change, a fresh new start? Isn’t it wonderful to know as you begin this New Year that you have God’s Spirit with you, His Spirit carrying you, leading you, and guiding you? Do you realize that this New Year can be a year in which you can serve God with a fresh new excitement? As you’re walking with Him and being obedient to Him, you will feel the sense of His pleasure in your life.
Pleasure doesn’t come in the pursuit of happiness, but in the pursuit of holiness. Far too many miss God’s divine plan for their lives as they’re bent on pursuing all the things in this world, hoping to find some sense of joy.
As you set new goals, new priorities for the days ahead, check out where God is in your plans, in your decision-making. What’s on your calendar for today, this week, this month, this year that will make any difference for the Kingdom?
Oh, Beloved, wouldn’t you like to know that at the end of your life…not to mention the end of this day, the end of this year…you could declare, as the apostle Paul did, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith” (2 Timothy 4:7)?
Wouldn’t you like to be assured that you could experience all the difficult situations Paul faced and say in total sincerity and truth, without one drop of egotism, Follow me, be an imitator of me, even as I am of Christ Jesus (1 Corinthians 11:1; Philippians 3:17)?
Can you imagine having such confidence?
How can you stand with such confidence as Paul did when you’re wrestling today with all the uncertainties of life, all the struggles, all the challenges that seem to keep coming your way? My friend, no matter what changes are occurring with your job, in your family, in our nation, there is only one stabilizing factor upon which you can rest: your
God. He is the immovable Rock. You can hide in Him.
One thing will always remain: God. And because He is immutable – unchanging – He will always be the same, and He will never leave you nor forsake you (Hebrews 13:5). He is always there with arms opened wide, your everlasting Father God. With this New Year, cling to the fact that He will never change.
Are you troubled, is fear lurking in the shadows of your consciousness? Do you feel insecure about anything at all? Run to your protector, the One who stands waiting for you to come bury yourself in the security of all He is.
Remember, “The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous runs into it and is safe” (Proverbs 18:10). In this New Year, where will you run? Will it be to food, alcohol, drugs, shopping, another man? When the hounds of trouble, worry, and fear pursue you; when the dogs of temptation, corruption, and evil seek to overtake you; when your energy is spent; when weakness saps you; when you feel you cannot run any longer, where do you turn? Who is your refuge?
If you desire a fresh new start, determine He will be the One you will run to. Run to Him and bury yourself in the security of all He is.
The goal of Paul’s life was “that I may know Him” (Philippians 3:10). What goals do you have this year? Do you make New Year’s resolutions but never keep them? I pray the goal of your life will be as Paul’s that “you know Him.”
What’s going to keep you from knowing Christ? What’s keeping you from going deeper in His Word? There’s so much to learn in the Word of God, and yet we want all these frivolous other things around us, instead of paying the price to spend time studying the Bible.
What is it that keeps you from paying the price? Is it the love of things? Is it the demand of things? Start keeping a running log for the next few days and look at how much time you’re spending in the Word of God. I’m not talking about reading and having your three minutes a day. But I’m talking about getting to know the Word of God, studying it precept upon precept.
Start today, keep a log and record your study time. Keep a pad beside your bed or keep it by a chair or wherever you’re going to study. Write down how much time you’ve spent each day for a week and then check yourself and add up that time. Then add up the number of hours in the day and subtract how many hours you need to sleep. And then look at the hours that you have left. What portion of your day do you give to the Lord?
What portion of your time does He have? How much television are you watching? How much sports are you playing? What are you doing with your time? Stop and evaluate it, because someday, Beloved, you’re going to give an account to the One that said we are to redeem the time.
We’re not to let things control our life; rather we are to control the things in our life. We are to redeem the time.
“Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:15-16).
O Beloved, get on your knees this week, start this New Year right. Ask God to show you what you may need to change to spend more time with Him. He has given you a fresh new start!
Begin your New Year with daily Bible Study. Learn more about the many resources available by visiting Precept Ministries e-store.
Host, Precepts For Life
Co-CEO, Precept Ministries International
Study God's take down of Saul, His promotion of David through a string of victories over Israel's enemies, and His establishment of Israel's glorious monarchy - its best ever years. For believers, this is a dual lesson in what attitudes to avoid and what attitudes to have as believers.
(The "I Samuel, Part 1 Study Guide" is available as a Free Download if you would like to study the Series on your own. The Study Companion and CD Set are also available for purchase.)
Beloved, we’ve talked about two kinds of love: Storge, meaning natural affection, and Eros—erotic love. Both of these are based on our own self interests. But today we’ll look at two more words for love; one that describes the love of friends and another that has its origins in God Himself! Remember, love is a choice! How will you choose to love?
It was late. She was in bed, reading, and waiting for him to come home. When he walked into the room she looked up and smiled. She opened her mouth to say something, but he walked past her without a word.
Beloved, family was on God’s heart from the beginning. When He sent His son to earth, he intentionally put Him in a family. Although He was the Son of God, God saw to it that His Son was raised with a mother, father, and siblings in an ordinary family.
I’ll never forget his face—the gravity of words haltingly spoken from one so young. He was just a child, yet shouldering the blame of being unaccepted, unwanted, rejected by both his birth parents and numerous foster parents who kept sending him back. “It was my fault they didn’t want me. I guess I just didn’t know how to be good.”
I will never forget my first Christmas as a Christian. I was 29 years old. Before then I was hopelessly lost. Raised in the church, I had a religion but not a relationship. Raised to be moral, in my disillusionment and loneliness I became immoral. I actually raised my fist, cursed God and said, “I am going to find someone to love me.”