Devotion for January 2-4, 2018

Could We Start Again, Please? This is the title of one of the great songs from the musical, “Jesus Christ Superstar.” The song as well as its title expresses a feeling many of us have as we get to the end of a year and look back over all that has happened, Sometimes we would like to have a do over. We start the year with so many good intentions and ideas but some how life just gets in the way. Or sometimes things totally out of our control take over and change how we thought the year was going to go. Every January as we reflect on the year that has just flown by, we want to ask, Could We Start Again, Please!

But in reality that is what is so exciting about the New Year holiday it reminds us that in many ways we do get a do over. Think about all things that start over. Insurance deductibles are one place where we get to start over. New deductibles for health care, prescriptions, or on our property or automobile insurance, if you use it you will have to satisfy the deductible for 2011. Income and property taxes is another reminder that we get to start over. The new property tax bill will be out and it will remind you that it is a brand new tax year. It is time for a new vehicle sticker in your city or village, so we are reminded in many places and many different ways that it is a new year.

In a way our Christmas Celebrations serve as a wonderful reminder that we get a do over. For Christmas brings to us the Good News of new life. Not only is it new life in the form of the baby born in Bethlehem. But it is new life that is offered to us when we accept Jesus as the gift from God for our salvation. Jesus born to die, is born to bring us new life through the forgiveness of sins and the promise of eternal life. All of this comes to us through His life, death and resurrection. In that way Jesus, gives us a do over. He invites us to believe in him as true God and true man. He invites us to come confessing our sin and receive his assurance of forgiveness. And he invites us to accept His gift of life eternal with Him.

So now that you know it is possible to start again, to have a do over — How are you going to do it? What are the truly important things you want to do this year? I would posit that as Christians our strongest need and desire is to live life reflecting the Good News of Jesus Christ. So that we don’t just talk about our faith but that we live it, each and every day of the New Year. How might our life been different if each and every day we had spent time reading God’s Word in the Bible? How might it have been different if we had been in prayer every day, not for our needs but for the needs of our neighbor?

Yes, you can start again! You have a do over — this year do it — Live with Christ as number one in your heart and mind. Soli Deo Gloria — To God be the glory.

Prayer: Dear Lord, how gracious and magnificent You are! You are able to listen and help everyone in the world at once, yet You hear me and answer me. What a great God I have to come to in prayer. Thank You for revealing Your promises and principles so that the Holy Spirit will guide me in this prayer effort and in living my daily life.

I come before You today, requesting greater wisdom and understanding in the things of faith. Guide me to know what You want for me in the decisions of life. Please give me immediate wisdom in my conversations and for those decisions I need to make. Help me to commit my way to Your will and to know that You will guide me in the correct way. May I learn to do this in all things, home, work, family and church. Help me to not follow what seems to be right in my own eyes, but rather what is right in Your eyes — in Your will.

Again, I praise and thank You for Your loving wisdom and guidance, that leads me in the right paths, which achieve the highest good, in all of my life. Amen.