Dear Precious Friends,
On this beautiful new day and start of a new week and the 3rd day of our new year, I pray we always remember the gift of starting anew! Whatever the past year held for us, today is a new day! Take time today to return to 2021 what belongs there. Sadness, guilt, shame, regrets, fear, anxiety, and doubt are not welcome in this new season of your life. They are nailed to the cross. What is our response? (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" Philippians 3:13-14). The Lord will do great things for us in 2022 when we seek Him first and put Him first.
As we focus on our top commitment for 2022, some call it resolutions, goals, I am calling it commitment because it is something we will focus on with all our heart, souls and minds... to have a deeper commitment, a deeper love, and a deeper worship with Jesus. God speaks to us and reminds us "I am more than enough. I am more than enough in every area of your life."
This year we are committed to make Him our all and all. He wants our undivided attention in spite of the distractions and temptations that lie waiting around the corner. He is our main focus.
To know Him is to Know His word...Every single day we must fill ourselves with His word. His word is our absolute truth and to know Him is to know His truth.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through Him all things were made, and without Him nothing was made that has been made. In Him was life, and that life was the light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. John 1:1-8
As our New Year has begun, we start with God’s Word. The Word was from the beginning for God created everything through His Word. His Word is still with us. Jesus Christ is the embodiment of the Word. His light shines on us who are in darkness.
I pray that we glow in the presence of His light throughout 2022. May God’s Word be the beginning and the end of our New Year.
Any prize we might seek and obtain here on earth will not last. Only what is eternal will last forever. Paul told the believers in Corinth that he was working for "a crown that will last forever." But to win the eternal crown, we need to exercise self-discipline. Again, Paul uses the imagery of a runner in a race:
Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize. (1 Corinthians 9:24–27, NIV)
Be encouraged by Paul's emphasis here on forgetting the past—forgetting what is behind—and straining forward to what lies ahead. We must not let yesterday's failures derail us from the goal of our upward call of God in Christ. Press on for the gold medal prize until you meet the Lord Jesus at the finish line.
Amen and Amen.