Some Thoughts As You Enter The New Year
Pastors Larry and Sandy Schreiner
Wouldn’t a great way for you to start the New Year be for someone to open for you a very special and unique savings account with a starting balance of $86,400. The instructions are simple. You are to spend the money any way you want, but at the end of the day any money you did not spend will disappear. The good news is that at the beginning of the next day another $86,400 would be placed in your account. How challenged would you be to completely spend each day’s deposit wisely or would you waste the money by allowing it to disappear at the end of each day?
God deposits 86,400 seconds into your life each and everyday. Right now, as you enter into this New Year, would be a great time to review how you spent God’s gift of time last year. How much time did you spend on your priorities at the expense of missing God’s opportunities? Wouldn’t it be wise, as you begin each new day, to thank your Heavenly Father for the time He is depositing into your life to accomplish His will? With this act of worship you are recognizing that God, not you, determines the length of your life. Too often when you don’t think about how short your life really is, you loose your focus on the very reason God gave you life in the first place. Now, this is the real danger you face each and every day of your life. To make my point, take a look at your to do list, your calendar, or whatever you use to plan what you hope to accomplish by the end of your day. As you go down your list, how many items achieve God’s priorities? I’m talking about the things you know God wants you to do. It might be a hospital visit, writing an encouraging note, making right something you did wrong. Or, it could be something as simple as spending time alone with the Lord in His Word. If God is providing the time that enables you to live your life, shouldn’t you be spending that time on His priorities? Now this is a thought you might consider as you begin your new year.
Most believers want to have God’s best in their lives. Yet all to often they will exchange the glorious opportunity to be in the presence of their Heavenly Father for the mundane treasures this world has to offer. Because the shed blood of God’s Son has washed your sins away, you are able to spend intimate quality time with your Creator and Savior. “And so, dear brothers and sisters, we can boldly enter heaven’s Most Holy Place because of the blood of Jesus. By his death, Jesus opened a new and life-giving way through the curtain into the Most Holy Place. And since we have a great High Priest who rules over God’s house, let us go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting him. For our guilty consciences have been sprinkled with Christ’s blood to make us clean, and our bodies have been washed with pure water.” (Hebrews 10:19-22 NLT)
Let’s take a look at some of the key words of this passage. You are not to come to God timidly with your hat in your hand. NO! You are to approach God BOLDLY because your sin barrier was washed away by Jesus’ blood. God’s constant desire is for you to DRAW NEAR to Him. To draw near to God you do not have to be in a church or on a mountaintop. You can be driving, in a hospital bed, or at work. Where you draw near to God is not important. What is imperative is having a SINCERE HEART and a COMPLETE TRUST in your Heavenly Father. As you begin each new day think on how you will prepare yourself to draw near to God.
Are you as filled to overflowing with love for Jesus today as you were when you first accepted Him as your Savior? Do you go out of your way as you did in the beginning of your relationship with Jesus to prove your devotion to Him? Does everything in your life fill His heart with gladness, or do you constantly complain because things are not going your way? Hopefully, you will never hear Jesus say to you, “But I have this complaint against you. You don’t love me or each other as you did at first (Revelation 2:4 NLT)
You keep the love of your Savior fresh and exciting when you make Him your number one priority. You do this by continually thanking Him for His sacrificial love for you. Throughout your day you constantly invite Him into every portion of your life. You seek His help and advice even in the smallest aspects of your life. You ask for Christ’s wisdom to guide you through every aspect of your day. You worry less and less about the way this world judges because you know that Jesus will be your final judge. You long for and thirst for the peace that only your Savior can bring into your life. At the dawn of each new day, think of ways you can demonstrate your love for the One who loved you enough to die for your sins.
Are you motivated to grow in holiness knowing that you are still fully capable to sin? Then allow this verse to persuade you to strive for the holiness every moment of every day. For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified. (Hebrews 10:14 NKJV) This verse will encourage imperfect sinners like you to be motivated to grow in holiness. You should live each day with the assurance that you stand perfected and competed in the eyes of your Heavenly Father. Not because you are perfect now, but because each and every day God gives you the opportunity to be sanctified and grow in holiness. Your faith in God’s promises will move you away from your lingering imperfection toward more and more holiness.
Your faith in Christ should make you eager to forsake sin and grasp the joy of growing in holiness. When you have this kind of faith you look to Jesus in the midst of your imperfection and say, “You have already perfected me in your sight.” Your faith and Christ’s work of sanctification within you allows you to declare, “Though I have sinned, I hate my sinful ways and thoughts. Thank you Jesus for writing your law on my heart, and I long to obey you. I know You are working within me to remove all that is not pleasing to You.” True and realistic faith must be strived for throughout every day the Lord allows you to live. Begin each new day with the determination to think on the ways you will sin less and grow in holiness.
Ok, what are you going to think on as you begin to live the tomorrows God is giving you? God is not impressed with your determination or strength of character. No, He loves to hear you admit your weakness and inability to overcome the sin in your life. You bring such joy to your Heavenly Father when you completely depend on Jesus’ gift of salvation, the Holy Spirit’s enabling power, and God’s Grace to overcome your sinful nature.
Think on these truths as you begin each day God has given you!
For more information and or to contact Pastor Larry and Sandy Schreiner