God’s gifts for you this New Year

As I grow older, the years seem to go by faster. I’m still in disbelief that 2010 is here already!

Each year, as Christmas ends, I know I will soon be in the midst of hearing scores of New Year’s resolutions from friends, families, and even myself. As we each replay the past year in our minds, we pull out certain events or memories that spring from a desire to change something about our lives or ourselves. We look forward to the new year, because it gives us an opportunity to wipe our slate clean and start fresh. It instills excitement in us, as we wonder what God has in store for us in this new season.

As I recently reminisced with an old friend about resolutions past, which had met an early grave by March or April, we discussed what we could do differently this year, in terms of our lists of new year resolutions. My friend then asked me a question that made me change my list entirely: “What percentage of my life is producing something of value to God?” This is a great question for anyone who is a resolution maker. What did you do last year for God? Could you have evangelized more, donated time, helped the needy, prayed more, placed more trust in Him, or perhaps spent more time alone with Him?

This year, in addition to whatever resolutions you pledged on January 1, plan on making this your year to really get close to God and live for Him, acknowledging all the gifts that He gives to us, not only every year, but also every single day!

He offers to you: New personal growth
As Christians, God wants to watch us continue to grow in our relationship with Him, and to dive deep into His Word. If we are willing to let go of ourselves entirely, God promises us that He will continually work through us and in us. This year, willingly put yourself into the potter’s hands and allow Him to mold you into a masterpiece that glorifies Him.

New purpose
As we enter this New Year, no matter what trials may lie ahead of us, make it a point to remind yourself daily that God has a plan and a purpose for whatever He allows you to experience.

Though sometimes we may not know His reasoning for what He allows, what we do know is that we can always trust in Him completely, because He would never harm us. This year, when you find yourself in a tough situation, remember the following verse from James, and remember that God is not only with you during these hard times, but using the situation to perfect your character.

James 1:2-4: Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

Renewed serenity
This year will be a year of new experiences for everyone. Some may be wonderful, and others may be terrible; but if you keep your sights fixed on the Lord, He will give you peace. The love and care that God has for His people is great, and with it, He offers us a promise of rest and peace during the trials we face. If you find yourself seeking rest and peace, meditate on the following verses.
Psalm 4:8: I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.

New limitless possibilities
The wonderful thing about our God is that through Him, nothing is impossible. God will make a way for His people when there is no way. This year, as you pray for God’s will to be poured into your life, you will see that the possibilities for your life are endless.

Proverbs 3:6: In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.

A new beginning
Right now, you have the opportunity to start and live out this new year with a clear, unaltered point of view toward the new experiences and memories you are about to experience. Remember, wherever the Lord leads you and takes you this year, come through the experience with an open heart and mind, and be confident in knowing that He is always with you.

Remember our wonderful Lord and Savior this year as you make out your resolutions, and whether you decide to pray more, give more, dive deeper into the Word, or to spread the word about Jesus and evangelize, know that God is watching over everything you do, and will bless you. Place yourself in His hands, receive His strength, and let it be known to Him in prayer some of the changes that you would like to see in your life during this upcoming year. God will never let you down.

Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age. Matthew 28:19-20
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