Welcome to the New Year!

Read: Revelation 21:1-8

The past year has held many memories. Some of them very good, some of them difficult, and others that were very hard. I would imagine that all of us could think of things that happened to fit each of those categories.

As the New Year came in we celebrated with family and friends. Some shot off fireworks, others watched bowl games, and some made resolutions to start the New Year. And some were glad that 2013 was behind them. For some people this has been a very difficult year!

That is why we welcome in a New Year with the hope and expectations of a new beginning. Not that we forget what is past but we look ahead to the new beginning that God will give us in 2014. In Revelation 21:5 it says, “See, I am making all things new.”

Just like Christ takes the repentant sinner and makes their life new by his grace and forgiveness, a New Year provides a fresh start for us. Let’s take that fresh start and make it multiply day after day.

Let’s start by asking the question, In what way can I grow spiritually in 2014? By naming that we can be more intentional about growing in that specific area. Many people start diets, new habits, etc. in January; for the Christian we should think about ways that we can grow closer to Christ in the days ahead.

Hymnist Frances Ridley Havergal once wrote a poem during New Years to send to her friends. She wrote it on a greeting card to send to them and it has since become very well known. It goes like this….

Another year is dawning:
Dear Father let it be,
In working or in waiting,
Another year with Thee;
Another year of progress,
Another year of praise,
Another year of proving
Thy presence all the days.

I hope your New Year is filled with all those things! Most of all I pray that we may feel the Lord’s presence with us at all times through his Holy Spirit. Whether it be good, bad, or difficult in the year ahead, may we turn to Christ to help us and see us through. You may look back on 2014 in December and say, “That was the best year of my life!” I hope so!

Make it personal: After you name the ways that you would like to grow spiritually in 2014, write them down and keep them in your Bible or somewhere close so that it can be a reminder. Through prayer and being intentional the Lord will help us accomplish that growth!

Happy New Year,
Glen Rhodes, Minister of Discipling, Worship, and Community Life