A New Start in a New Year

In Blogs, Devotional by David M. LevyLeave a Comment

Some are already calling 2017 a year of destiny! It has been a long time since we entered a year with so much anticipation.

There is a new spirit sweeping the country as people are looking for major changes promised by the incoming administration. The administration is promising to provide new jobs, lower taxes, take regulations off of businesses, restart industries that have closed down, and bring urban renewal to many major cities across the country. For sure, new decisions in local, national, and international government are about to emerge that will impact our life immensely.

As we entered the New Year, we are once again made aware of the relentless march of time! Every minute carries us all too swiftly towards our eternal destiny.  Recently, I saw an advertisement that read, “YOU HAVE 24 HOURS TO LIVE!” Underneath, in very small print, were the words, “today, that is!”  The sign was a catchy reminder that we should live each day as if it were our last—in reality it may well be!

It got me thinking; TIME is too precious a gift, too scarce a commodity to be squandered! Yes, we need to be aware of each moment and not waste it with frivolous endeavors; endeavors that add nothing to our life, and will not glorify God.

The New Year will have its challenges and with it will come disappointments and failures, but knowing the Lord and walking in His will gives us inner assurance and hope for our future.
This point drove home what our attitude towards time should be, “I’ve only just a minute, only 60 seconds to it, forced upon me—can’t refuse it, didn’t seek it, didn’t choose it, but it’s up to me to use it, give an account if I abuse it; just a tiny minute, but eternity is in it!”

Some are perplexed and others are fearful of what the future holds.  The New Year will have its challenges and with it will come disappointments and failures, but knowing the Lord and walking in His will gives us inner assurance and hope for our future. The word new suggests opportunity, a fresh start, and that’s what the New Year ought to be for all of us.

God also reminds us how we should look at time, He said, “See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is” (Ephesians 5:15–17). This text is filled with tremendous wisdom on how we should approach each year; in fact, every moment of every day we live. Here is what the Lord is saying to us:

  • Walk Carefully (v. 15). “See then that you walk circumspectly.” The word circumspectly means to be accurate in how we give attention to what we think and do as we live out each day of our life. That is, live out each day as if it was your last with Godly care.
  • Walk Correctly (v. 15). “Not as fools but as wise.” The word fools means acting without knowledge or discernment and refers to one who lives his life thoughtlessly and irresponsibly. In contrast, one should order his life each day, wisely applying practical insight gleaned from God’s revealed truth in the Bible. The word wise means the ability to apply biblical knowledge accurately with sound judgment as you make decisions each day that you live.
  • Walk Committed (v. 16). “Redeeming the time.” The word redeem means to buy up every opportunity. The idea is not to waste time, but use every appointed moment you have throughout your day efficiently and wisely to profit good for you and by so doing, glorify God in your life. “Time” is not referring to seconds, minutes, or hours in a day, but fixed appointed periods of time allotted to you in your life.  In other words, God has given us an allotted time period in serving Him, and we are not to waste this opportunity in frivolous endeavors to please ourselves.
  • Walk Cautiously (v. 16). “Because the days are evil.” The word evil is speaking of morally bad or wrong in relation to good. It speaks of a continual state of existence or series of events as being wicked, degenerate, and harmful to human existence. They are days filled with sinfulness, immorality, and depraved living.  The believer must place a guard over his mind and heart so as not to be contaminated by this vile world system, if he or she is to have a new start this year.
  • Walk Consciously (v. 17). “Therefore, do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.”  The word unwise means foolish, devoid of wisdom, lacking good common sense, or sound judgment. That is, don’t live stupidly, thoughtlessly, or carelessly. Instead, “understand,” or have insight and perception of the Lord’s will on how you should live out each moment of your days on Earth.  Naturally, the will of the Lord is found in the Bible. Here is the will of God for each person: Salvation (being born again); Submission (obedience to God’s commands); Spirit filled (controlled by the Holy Spirit); Saturated With Scripture (know God’s Word and apply it); Sanctified (being conformed to Christ); Serving (involved in serving Christ); and Suffering for Him (should He allow this in your life). By practicing these seven principles found in Scripture you will understand most of God’s will for your life.

Maybe you are like some people I know. They are mumbling under their breath, “I wish I could start my life all over again, to sidestep this entangled mess and baggage I am facing.” They believe by pulling themselves up by their bootstraps, making resolutions for the New Year, their troubles will vanish like a vapor. Sounds good, but you know it doesn’t work. Why? Because you tried it so many times and failed.

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In a sense, you can start life all over again.  You can experience a completely new change in your life. How? you ask.  By receiving Jesus Christ into your life or if you have done so, recommitting your life to Him. The Bible says, “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold all things have become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17).  When Christ comes into your life, things start to change––it is even called being born again. I urge you to make that decision right now. Living without Christ in your life leaves you hopeless, shallow, and empty inside. I am sure you don’t want to go through another year like the one you just lived, do you?

Someone at The Friends of Israel would be glad to talk with you about it. Why not get a new start in this New Year, beginning today? You will be glad you did! Leave a message in the comment box below.

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David M. Levy

David M. Levy is the media resource specialist and a Bible teacher for The Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry.

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