I mentioned briefly that I much prefer to look ahead to the new year than to look back. New holds promise. The Bible tells us that joy comes in the morning and that is just the way I feel looking at the new year. Anne of Green Gables is noted to have said, “Isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?” The new year doesn’t either! As we stand at the threshold of 2024, it’s a fitting time to reflect on the journey of the past year, letting go of those parts we’ve already sought forgiveness for, and to seek God’s wisdom for the days to come. This moment invites us to pause, acknowledging His presence in our lives, and to consider the path He has laid out for us.
How can we use this time for His glory?
Reflect on God’s Faithfulness
In addition to looking back and letting go of the guilt and shame of our forgiven failures, we also want to consider God’s faithfulness this past year! Remember the answered prayers, unexpected blessings, and moments of growth. By acknowledging His hand in my life, I nestle in closer to the intimate relationship He wants with me.
Pray with Purpose
Take intentional time in prayer, bringing our joys, sorrows, and desires before the Lord. Seek His guidance and wisdom as you review the choices and decisions of the past year. Allow your prayers to be a conversation with God, surrendering your plans and desires to His perfect will.
Set Christ-Centered Goals
As you consider your goals for the new year, strive to align them with God’s Word. Instead of focusing solely on personal achievements, think about how your goals can contribute to God’s kingdom and reflect His love to those around you.
Instead of “lose 50 pounds”, think, “I will present my body as a living sacrifice” (Romans 12:1) and “practice what God’s Word says about self-control” (2 Peter 1:5-10). Whatever your goals this year, based them on Scripture and ask God to help you!
Challenge yourself to embrace personal transformation through the power of the Holy Spirit. Identify areas of your life where you can grow. Allow God to shape and mold you into the person He has designed you to be, acknowledging that true fulfillment comes from aligning your life with His purpose.
Some people choose one word to focus on in the new year. I’ve done this, but I’m not very good at keeping with it. If I were to choose one word for this new year, it would be transformation. Romans 12:2 says, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind.” I want God to transform my life for His glory this year, using His Word to renew and transform me. Let God’s Word renew and transform your own life this year!
Community and Accountability
Recognize the importance of community in your journey. Engage with fellow believers who can offer support, encouragement, and accountability. Share your goals with trusted friends or a mentor, allowing them to walk alongside you as you pursue a Christ-centered life.
In the upcoming year, let your foundation be firmly “rooted and built up in [Jesus]” (Colossians 2:7). As we embark on this new chapter, let us remember the words of Philippians 3:13-14, “Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”
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May your new year be filled with the peace that surpasses all understanding, rooted in a deep relationship with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
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