A new beginning

a new begining

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——————————-For many here today, last year was a year that was wasted in poverty, in suffering, in pain, in sickness, in disputes and in sin. We have been spending so many new years in the past. We have experienced New Year celebrations in different styles, without a difference. We have not actually realised anything new in the past.

We make the year new. It cannot be otherwise. This means, it is not the year that makes us new; we make the year new by the way we live it.Are you waiting for a new year? Stop thinking or talking on the level of the out going one. Change your thoughts and words. The new year is a year to be opened with prayer. Then after you have done this, you would be able to say with the Psalmist, “This is the year that the Lord has made, I will be glad and rejoice in it” (Psalm 118 : 24)

Jabez prayed to God. God gave him a new beginning and the Bible says, he became more honourable than his brothers ( 1 Chronicles 4:9 – 10). If you open the year with prayer, the Lord would give you a new beginning.What kind of new year are you expecting? To many, a new year means merriment, wining and dining, partying and the like. To many others, a new year is one with a new house, car, job, children, wife, husband and relations. They think they are fulfilled when they have all these. To them, it is a new year indeed.

A new year is a gift from God, a part of the divine nature of God. In the New Year therefore, you are called to God’s kind of lifestyle – His divine essence. Not in terms of un faithfulness, injustice and corruption but of steadfastness, faithfulness and love.Remember, God is the reason for the year. Nothing of God can be possible unless our heart is pure.Christ tells us, “Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God” (Matthew 5:8). If we regard iniquity in out heart, the Lord would not hear is. (Psalm 66:18).

In the new year, dedicate your heart to the Word of God, meditate on it day and night (Joshua 1:8). I mean, let God’s word abide in you and you in it (John 15:4). This is God’s kind of lifestyle. Knowing that we have come a long way, full of self-righteousness, which boasts in itself, labour, pain, want and so forth, Jesus Christ say, “Come unto me, all ye that labour, and I will give your rest” ( Matthew 11:28).To receive rest, you have a role to play. Show your faith as someone who wants to come to Jesus – since Jesus says, “Come”.

Do you want a new year in your life? Stop looking at where you are coming from and start looking at where you are going. In the New year, don’t be afraid to say, “I don’t know”. This is what the Bible means by, “Let everyone be convinced in his own mind” (Romans 14:5). This means, if you must say anything, be convinced in your own mind. Remember God looks at the heart because our heart is the communication point or contact for the Holy Spirir (Romans 9:1). Find out the truth because satan would rather that we take all that we hear without question but we have the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16). Cultivate His ways of looking at things.

Every year, we make resolutions. Some would say, “I will not lie again”. Others would say, “I will not smoke again” but before they know it, they are back into smoking and worse sins. We are here again to make another resolution. Remember, Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8). He never changes. It is our in ability to keep resolutions that makes the year seem different or new. His year is the same. Each time we shout, “Happy new year!” we are confessing our inability to keep our promises, resolutions. It is our resolutions that actually make the year one of promises. If we keep our resolutions, we feel fulfilled at the end of the year. For such person, the incoming year is not new but a continuation of fulfilment. On the other hand, if we fail to keep our resolutions, we would be looking forward to a new beginning. To such people, the incoming year is new. I mean, a break with wasted years of failure, frustration and pain.

Here comes a new year in which our old approach can no longer work, I mean, can no longer help. If we were to solve the problem of today using the approach of yesterday, we are bound to fail because our enemies are advancing in their own pace of technology. I mean, the way they operate.

Yesterday, man was his brother’s keeper but today, man is his brother’s destroyer. For example, yesterday, your neighbor would wake up in the morning and be interested in your welfare by saying, “Good Morning”. But today such things no loner exists; we have becomes strange bedfellows – two people living together, sleeping together but are strangers to each other because of religious, economic, political and cultural reasons. For political differences, two brothers can start fighting each other just because they belong to different political party but in different factions.This year is a year which you old approach to life cannot be supported by the turn of events: Brothers are no more brothers’ keepers. No one Is interested I’m the welfare of another. No one is ready to help for God’s sake. Each one to his own way. ‘I don’t mind what happens to my neighbor.”

Remember, you cannot succeed alone. If you consider how far you have come, you may not want to share the dividend of your success with others. Remember, Jesus was crucified bot because He sinned but that you should obtain redemption. This year, see hard times as the reason for your belief. ‘I thank God for giving me a new job’ – see it as a reason for your belief. If it is opposite – see it as a reason for your belief. Job saw his good times as the reason for his belief just as he saw his hard times as the reason for his belief as well (Job 2:10).

Question: Today, are you in church for continuation of the outgoing year of fulfilment or a break with the outgoing year?The answer to the questions would help us to pray our way into the New year. We have two groups:

1. Those who want God to do something new in their lives. These are the people that want a clean break with the outgoing year.

2. Those who want the continuation of fulfilment of the outgoing year.

Prayer to the Holy spirit:”Act in me, O Holy spirit that I may keep my resolutions.Strengthen me, O Holy Spirit, that I may do what I right in your sight.”……..TBJ #SCOAN

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