January 6, 2020
Over the holidays Katie and I were able to spend time with family. We couldn’t help remembering our many New Year’s days from the past, but we decided that one of the things we would probably change, if we could, is that we would write things down and take more pictures, because sometimes everything over the year’s just seems to blend together. I seem to have a hard time remembering for sure, everything we did just last year. All of us experience many good times with our families, but there are also those things in our lives that we would rather forget, and even some things, that if we could go back and do them over, we would maybe do things differently. I think that most of us would probably change a thing or two if we could start over again. It might be to change a decision made that led to difficult consequences, or words or actions that caused a broken relationship. The beginning of a New Year often brings about memories from the past, but it also offers us a chance to do things differently as well.
Unfortunately for many, the beginning of the New Year is just the continuation of the drudgery they have known in other years. The Bible says it doesn’t have to be that way. In Psalm 19 David provides us with a perspective of how we can experience positive, enduring change in our lives and choose a fresh perspective. Psalm 19:1-4 says, “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.” Creation reveals the existence of God, and the power and glory of God, which is so great that it is impossible for human beings not to recognize that the author is our divine Creator. Anyone can look out every night at the stars and every day at the sky and be reminded about His glory without the barrier of language. It is a simple message that crosses cultural, educational, social, and generational barriers. Have you ever wondered why you feel closer to God looking at a beautiful sunset, the ocean, or a magnificent mountain range? It is simply because doing so allows us to place things in the proper perspective. It reminds us that things impossible from a human perspective are possible with God. If we are to have a fresh start we have to acknowledge that God is in control and our existence is solely dependent on Him.
Even though Creation is sufficient for us to be drawn closer to God, we know that the Creator provided us with His Word to help us understand more about Him. David said in Psalm 19:7-11, “The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul. The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making the wise simple. The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes. The fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever. The ordinances of the Lord are sure and altogether righteous. They are more precious than gold, they are sweeter than honey from the honeycomb. By them is your servant warned. In keeping them there is great reward.” In God’s Word we have everything we need in order to make a fresh start by simply accepting His truth the way He reveals it to us. We do so by understanding that sometimes His Word reveals a simple answer, while at other times it just provides comfort in a confusing situation. More often than not His Word exposes a heart issue in our lives which is keeping us from enjoying God’s blessings. David concluded his thoughts in Psalm 19 with a great prayer of intercession that we can pray in seeking a fresh start this New Year. “May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord my Rock and my Redeemer,” Psalm 19:14. We can pray this prayer only after we have been convicted, cleansed and instructed by the Word of God. Then we can stand before the Lord without experiencing a guilt trip, knowing God’s desire for us is to know Him, worship Him, love Him, and obey Him. Like David many years ago we can gain a fresh perspective and a new start this year by looking to God’s Creation, by examining the scriptures, and by dealing with the sin the Holy Spirit shows us we have in our heart. My prayer is that each of us will allow God to give us the blessing of a fresh start as we return for the second semester here at FCS.
May God grant you and your family a joyful and blessed New Year, and like the Psalmist, may our focus for this New Year be to please our Heavenly Father.