2018 is history and 2019 has just begun, and you are probably deciding how you want to spend the year. Perhaps looking at New Year’s resolutions to be bolster your health; maybe looking at starting a new career or educational path; maybe you are planning a getaway or family vacation; maybe starting a new budget or saving a bit more; and maybe you are trying to read the entire bible again this year. Whatever it is that you have in the works, it is something you have been thinking about, something you desire, a change that is needed, a trip that is overdue, and you are determined to make it happen in 2019.
What if I told you that every day in the eyes of God is a new start? God says in Lamentations 3:22-24: “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. ‘The Lord is my portion,’ says my soul, ‘therefore I will hope in him.’”
Sure a new year is exciting but a year is made up of months, weeks, and days. We have a great blessing from God in that each day, every morning, as sure as the sun rises, He in His love for us gives new mercy.
So as you plan out your year, your months, your weeks in 2019, be reminded that God has new mercies waiting for you each day, and think of Jeremiah 29:11: “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.’”
So we know God has a steadfast love for us that never ceases. He has a plan for us and in that plan He injects new mercy into our lives daily. So today as we sit and reflect on the previous year(s), as we consider our ways, and as we plot our course into 2019 and beyond, let us remember these great truths. As we are reminded of these truths let them guard our hearts, light our path, and guide our way. As we develop our plans we must develop them on these truths and around our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Here are three of my personal spiritual resolutions, not just for the new year, but for today and each and every day of my life.
Set aside time for God. I know this is simple, but at times can be very challenging with our demanding lives. As Christians it is vital that we daily spend as much time as we can in the word of God. In John 15:6-8 we are told exactly how important it is for us to abide in Jesus, and part of this is that God’s word would remain in us. The only way we can get God’s word to remain in us is if we remain in His word.
Have a posture of prayer. Yes this is directly related to setting aside time for God, but it is so important I believe it needs its own resolution. You will need prayer to help you understand God’s Word and remain committed to reading it. Prayer is also a powerful spiritual tool (Ephesians 6:18). Again, start small. Paul says to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17), and this can mean talking to the Lord throughout the day, as a person comes to mind or as a situation arises. A prayer does not have to be long and drawn-out for God to hear it. I once heard a pastor give the analogy of prayer as a telephone conversation with God in which God never hangs up the phone, so He is always right there when you come before His throne with requests or with praise.
Make people a priority. We as Americans and as Christians make time for so many things: getting our morning coffee, watching a game, going fishing, social media – just to name a few. Are we committed to making time to fellowship with other believers, disciple each other, and be there to help others in need? Friendships, fellowship, and discipleship just don’t happen. We must be intentional each day and every moment to make these a priority in our lives. It is easy to get so busy that we are stuck in our routines and we forget to call up a brother or sister in the Lord and see how they are doing. We can get so wrapped up in our Sunday morning conversation after service that we don’t even notice the person all alone in the corner who may need prayer or someone to minister to them.
Ministering to other people is not just the job of the pastor. As believers and followers of Christ we are all called to share the gospel (Matthew 28:19-20) and to be the hands and feet of Jesus (1 Corinthians 12:27). So respond to that text, answer the call, have that family over for dinner, and go over to that person who is all alone to listen and pray with them. Don’t wait for someone else to do something or say something. God put His love inside of you and He placed you where you are to bless those around you in His name!
I thank God that His mercies are new each day. I am so very thankful He was willing and able to die on that tree for you and for me. Praise God that He is always available, He always makes time to be there for us and to listen. Be blessed, glorify our King, and bless others in His name!