A New Year’s Message
When the Lord God delivered His people from Egyptian bondage, He said, “This month shall be the beginning of months for you; it is to be the first month of the year to you” (Exodus 12:2). The reference here is to the month Abib (the Canaanite name) or Nisan (the name that the month was given during the Babylonian captivity). God goes on to say that the Israelites were to choose a lamb or goat on the tenth of the month and then slay it on the fourteenth of the month, in remembrance of the preservation of the firstborn sons of the nation and in commemoration of the deliverance of the Israelites from their slavery in a foreign land. Gods people began each year with a remembrance of Gods greatnessHis power, mercy, and love.
As we have seen, the Israelites began their year with Abib (Nisan), which corresponds to our March or April. Today we begin the year with the month of January. What is most important, however, is that just as the Israelites began the year with a remembrance of Yahweh God, so we should begin the year with a remembrance of God!
God our Father is the One who has blessed us through the year of 2001. He is the One who will be with us in the year before us2002. “Every good thing given and every perfect gift” given during the past year has come “from above, coming down from the Father of lights” (James 1:17). The psalmist says it well: “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless His holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget none of His benefits” (Psalm 103:1-2). Although each of us has faced sorrow and perhaps even tremendous tragedy during the year behind us, still we can remember Gods blessings and benefits that come to us in abundance. We can also depend on the Lord God to be the same gracious and faithful God He has always been.
As we arrive at the beginning of another year, let us be grateful to God for new opportunities and amazing blessings. We have the opportunity . . .
- to begin a brand new year with amazing possibilities
- to leave the failures of last year behind
- to correct past faults of character, word and action
- to seek forgiveness from others and from God
- to make restitution for our sins
- to learn from past mistakes
- to begin to love God and others more fully
- to be more active in our prayers to the Father
- to repair broken relationships
- to seek to establish other meaningful relationships
- to be a responsible father, mother, son, daughter, husband, wife, and friend
- to clear our conscience and maintain a good one
- to become active in good deeds in the future
- to read and study Gods word with greater fervency
- to depend on God for our eternal future
- to develop a more intimate relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ
We have the opportunity to grow, to change, to correct, to excel, to be someone better, wiser, and more loving in the coming year .
Someone has expressed it well in the following verse that we sing:
God is moving us on,
He is showing the way
The way where weve never been before.
There are mountains to climb,
There are valleys to cross,
And before us He has set an open door.
God is abundant in love, mercy, and grace. He uses the ongoing passing of time to measure us and lead us to something better. We are living in times of peril, civil unrest, international crisis, terrorist threats, and personal tragedy. Though sickness, sorrow, and suffering may be our lot, we may experience the blessings of God each day. God has given us His love in Christ Jesus, who died for us and rose from death to new life. He is now the ascended, glorified Lord over all history! In Him we can have peace in the present and hope for the future. Rather than face the future with dread, let us redeem the time and glorify the God of our salvation while we have the opportunity!
May God bless you abundantly in this coming year!