“Forget the former things;
do not dwell on the past.
See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
and streams in the wasteland.”
This time of year always makes me think of “new”, whether in terms of habits, goals or resolutions. Nothing wrong with that. The trouble comes when I try to take control of what those new things are. Two things help me remember that my future has always been in God’s loving control:
God has already been creating new things in my life. Scripture promises that “inwardly we are being renewed day by day.”
God already has a plan for my best life in motion. He knows how things will work together “to prosper” me.
Resting in those truths will help me focus on what God wants do in me during this upcoming season. Happy New Year to all of you!
“To reach up for the new, you must let go of the old. What lies behind you is not nearly as important as what lies in front of you.”
“But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”
“The object of a New Year is not that we should have a new year. It is that we should have a new soul.”
G. K. Chesterton
“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.”
2 Corinthians 4:16
“But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.”
“And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God.”
Angels we have heard on high
Sweetly singing o’er the plains
And the mountains in reply
Echoing their joyous strains
“Gloria! In excelsis deo!”
(Angels We Have Heard on High, trad. Christmas carol)
“But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.”
“And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”
“In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. And all went to be registered, each to his own town. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.“
I pray that you are feeling the wonder and awe of this Christmas season. May God fill you with His blessings!
“How many observe Christ’s birthday! How few, His precepts! O! ’tis easier to keep holidays than commandments.”
“If you love me, keep my commands.”
“…And then, just when everything is bearing down on us to such an extent that we can scarcely withstand it, the Christmas message comes to tell us that all our ideas are wrong, and that what we take to be evil and dark is really good and light because it comes from God. Our eyes are at fault, that is all. God is in the manger, wealth in poverty, light in darkness, succor in abandonment. No evil can befall us; whatever men may do to us, they cannot but serve the God who is secretly revealed as love and rules the world and our lives.”
“So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?”