Devotional

“Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil.” – James 4:13-16.

The new year is an exciting time as we look forward to what is ahead. It is a new chapter in our life and we are the author. It will be written on a new, clean piece of paper. The Apostle Paul wrote in Philippians 3:13-14: “No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.”  Paul did not dwell on his past failures.  He looked forward to the goal which is the prize. That prize is the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. It is a race with a finish line. 

2018 presents us a new race with a new finish line. It’s a new day, a new year, and a new you. As the new year approaches, we often think of things we would “like” to change in our lives.  Perhaps we ponder things we “need” to change. We may even consider matters that we “want” to change. We start making statements like “I have to get on track this year in making a particular change.”  Or “I have to get started on the journey by taking this step.” 

So what changes would you like to make this year? What will you resolve to do differently this year? Psalm 17:3 provides an excellent example of someone that feels he “has” to make a commitment.  He is “determined…”   “You have tested my thoughts and examined my heart in the night.You have scrutinized me and found nothing wrong. I am determined not to sin in what I say.” 

As we begin this new year, my prayer is that we are committed to trusting God to work in our lives in a new, and powerful way. So rather than seeing the start of another year as a daunting task to be met or an unknown to be feared, my prayer is that we can trust in God’s sovereignty over every aspect of our lives. There will be new blessings, new trials, new failures, and new victories, but His goodness will guard them all.

In 2018, let the joy of the Lord be your strength, let Him direct your life, remember, He is all you need.

Discussion questions:

  1. What is your mindset entering the new year?
  2. What would you like to change in your life in 2018?