A NEW BEGINNING

   New Years Day, for some, means sleeping in after staying up to midnight the night before. Not me. The New Year has begun when the ball drops in New York City, and I go to bed. For others, New Years Day means making resolutions for the New Year. Not me. Resolutions are usually broken by the end of January. Anne and I go to the Courthouse Fitness, and in January we get many new members who have made a resolution to lose weight and get better physically. However, by the end of January, very few are left.  

   On New Years Day, we usually watch a couple of football games, and if the weather is okay, go for a walk. I usually use part of New Year’s Day to begin putting together what I need to do my taxes for the previous year and start keeping records for a new tax year. This New Year weekend we need to start cleaning our garage of boxes of materials and notes sitting there for 26 years and not opened. I wonder if there is a spiritual application?

   When I was younger, the New Year meant another year closer to becoming an adult and being able to start a career and eventually my own family. Now at nearly fourscore years, I realize the New Year is one year closer to Heaven and one less year of active life on this earth. Looking back over my life, I realize how quickly life has gone. Psalm 90:12 says, “So teach us to number our days that we may present to You a heart of wisdom.” Every day is important.  

   As long as we have breath, our lives can continue to be of service to God and others. The apostle Paul writes in II Timothy 4:7-8, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but to all who have loved His appearing.” New Years Day is a reminder to keep on keeping on and to finish strong.

   New Years Day is a reminder that a new year means an opportunity to begin again. Lamentations 3:22-23 says, “The Lord’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning. Great is Your faithfulness.”  So get up early to begin using God’s mercies for that day. Psalm 118:24 says, “This is the day which the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Another year means another opportunity to make the best of it and rejoice in our relationship with our Lord.

   New Years Day also means an opportunity to look forward and not just backward. There may be unfinished business from last year, and in the New Year, we can do what we can to make amends, ask forgiveness, and finish what needs to be done. However, as the apostle, Paul writes in Philippians 3:13-14, “One thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead. I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” In the New Year, keep your eyes on Jesus. He will lead us into the future.

   Personally, for Anne and me, New Years Day means another opportunity to pray for the salvation and spiritual growth of our family. Some of them do not have a personal relationship with Christ; others are not walking close to the Lord. New Years Day means we still have time to show the love of God to those we love the most.  

   A BLESSED NEW YEAR TO ALL OF YOU

Pastor David Shimeall