Well, by now I bet you have all the gifts opened and played with for a while. The wrapping paper and boxes are all in the trash, and you might have even started putting some of the Christmas things away until next year. Speaking of next year, do you realize in just three days it will be a new year: 2018 to be exact? You may have heard people say over the last month or so, “Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!” The coming of a new year is a time when many people celebrate, plan, and set some goals for the next twelve months. I do this every year too, but I’m afraid I don’t always follow through with my plans as I should. I’ve been losing the same ten pounds now for several years!
Now is a good time to think about what God would want us to do too over the next year and even beyond. We can pray about it and ask God to show us what He wants for us. I know, He would say that He wants us all to be happy and kind to people, to have faith in Him and not be afraid, to pray, read His Word, and go to church whenever we can. Those are all good things to remember and try to follow. God may even say some other things for you to do specifically in your own circumstances. When you pray, just take some time to be quiet and listen for His voice in your heart. It might be hard at first, but I believe, He will make you aware of anything He wants you to know personally. It’s also good to ask God to give you the strength and courage through His Holy Spirit to be the sort of person He wants you to be and do the things He wants you to do. He will always help you with those tasks!
Every January, we have the opportunity to start fresh and try to be better people. But none of us have to wait till January to do that, you know. We can ask God to help us be His children every day. Just talk to Him and tell Him, “God, I messed up today by doing _________ (fill in the blank.) Please forgive me and help me to do better tomorrow.” Then try to do just that: be better the next day. We will never be perfect, but we can have God’s help to be the best that we can be – always!
Happy New Year to every one of you! I thank you for reading my articles this past year, and I am looking forward to writing more of them for 2018! I ask God to help me do that each week!
Let’s say our prayer for the New Year. Dear God, thank You that it is the beginning of a new year. Please forgive us for the things we’ve done wrong in the past year and give us Your strength to live for You in the New Year to come. This is the beginning of an exciting new adventure. Thank You that You promise to be with us and guide us every day. In Jesus’ name, Amen!
Ann Moody is pastor of Wilkesville First Presbyterian Church.