” “Do not call to mind the former things,
Or ponder things of the past.
“Behold, I will do something new,
Now it will spring forth;
Will you not be aware of it?
I will even make a roadway in the wilderness,
Rivers in the desert.”

Isaiah 43:18-19

Most of us (all of us?) really love new stuff. There’s something about what is fresh, unopened, unused, brand new.

No stains, no spots, no troubles, nothing missing.

Kids love new toys, new stuffed animals, new games and new crayons.

As we get older, we want new clothes, new shoes and bigger and cooler new toys and games.

As adults, it might be new love, new tech, new cars, new homes – maybe you’ve even asked for a life makeover after the one you have seems to have lost its shine.

At the end of the year, we even draw up lists – some hastily on the back of a receipt, others deliberately in a journal or notebook purchased specifically for planning and recording the year ahead.

Lose weight. Exercise more. Save money. Find love. Be kinder. Look at phone less. Laugh more. Eat more vegetables. Give up a bad habit. More time with friends and family. A new job. Go back to school. Less sweets. Find a hobby. Go to church more regularly. Pray more. Read the Bible regularly. Volunteer. Learn a new language. Invest. Live healthier. Read more often. Less tech. Start family traditions. Reconnect with loved ones.

Chances are, if you made a list for 2019, some of your resolutions are listed above.

Resolutions can be a good thing. They challenge us to contemplate and reflect. We look back at the past, look around in the present and look ahead to the future.

If you made a list of resolutions or if you’re still considering doing so, please also consider spending a few minutes with God, asking Him what His will is for your year as you plan your resolutions. Prayerfully seek His will this year, seek His ways and seek to know Him better by studying His Word.

It may be that the resolutions the world is calling you to make are not the priorities the Lord is calling you to live.

While there are some really good resolutions we can make regarding our earthly lives (financial and physical health, education, hobbies and interests), it may be that God is calling you to invest in some Kingdom resolutions – possibly intangible (growing in His Word, walking closer with Him, a more peaceful spirit), tangible (volunteering in your community, becoming a member of a church, participating in a small group or tithing time, talent and treasure) – or a combination.

Today, ask God what His plans are for you in 2019. Spend some time in the next few days in quiet time and ask Him where He wants to lead you in the year ahead.

Ask Him to show you some areas He wants you to grow – both in your earthly life as well as your spiritual life. God wants us to live our best lives – and He has the best plans for our lives – if we will only seek Him and spend time with Him, and then obey Him as He guides us.

We are all on an amazing journey with God – one that began even before our first breath on earth and which will continue throughout all eternity when we place our faith and trust in Jesus.

Only God and you know your life. There are lots of good things for you to consider resolving to do in 2019. But only God knows what is best for you to do in the year ahead.

God is making all things new. Every day.

Today, He has given you – and all of us – a new year and a new opportunity to begin again.

And if you’re looking at this after January 1, 2019 – then know that it is not too late to begin again. Every day, God gives us a new day full of new possibilities, new opportunities, new hope and new life.

Consider the words of the weeping prophet Jeremiah, wearied and worried about Judah’s future after exile in Babylon and afflicted by his own people, people angry that he tried to warn them about God’s wrath and judgment and angry also that his prophecies turned out to be true.

Even after all Jeremiah had seen and endured, he still had faith and hope in God and he knew that God is loving, merciful and compassionate – and that each day God blesses us all over again with new mercies, new love and new compassion to sustain us through whatever we may face.

” The Lord’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease,
For His compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.”

Lamentations 3:22-23

God is making all things new – and He is willing and able to make all things new for you and in you.

Praise God for the lovingkindness and compassion He shows you today – and rest assured that tomorrow He will bring new mercy and compassion to you again, all the days of your life.

May this be a year of blessing and growth for you and may you find yourself walking ever closer with our Lord, seeking and following Him through the valleys and to the tops of mountains, finding God’s deepest calling for your life as you fulfill mankind’s chief aim, to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.

A thought…

God loves you just as you are. You don’t have to earn His love and you can’t work to keep His love. He will continue to love you, no matter what you do in response to His love for you. God is love and His nature is love. He created you, He knows you, He loves you and He has great plans for you.

And because He loves you so much, He wants His best for your life, which means He wants to sanctify you – He wants to make you and me and all of us more like His Son, Jesus Christ. After we accept Christ as our Savior, it is our privilege and blessing to live our lives seeking to become more like Christ in all aspects of our lives.

God may be nudging you to make some changes right now to draw closer to Him. It may be that as you are considering new year’s resolutions, God is calling you to live a life more like Christ. He may even be calling you to Him and calling you to accept Christ as your Savior. It may be that God is calling you to make changes in your life – difficult changes that will challenge you but which will bring you great blessing and which will be in obedience to His will. It may be that God wants to add blessing to your life in the year ahead with new opportunities, new relationships and new skills.

Whatever He is doing in you this year, you can be sure that God is faithful to complete His work in your life (Phil. 1:6) and that He has wonderful plans for you, to give you a future and a hope! (Jer. 29:11)

A question…

Did you make resolutions last year? If so, how did you do?

What is one thing you would like to change in the year ahead in your “earthly” life – e.g., healthier, career, relationships, finances, education, etc.

What is one thing you would like to change in the year ahead in your spiritual life – e.g., church attendance, small group involvement, volunteering, tithing, prayer life, Bible reading, etc.

A challenge…

Spend about 15-30 minutes with God in the next few days and ask Him what He would have you resolve to change and work on in the year ahead. You may spend time in His Word and then spend some time in prayer, really seeking His will and His purposes. Try and set aside some time when you won’t be interrupted and when you can concentrate and meditate on His Word and really meet with God in prayer.

Think about the things in your life that you want to address and ask God to show you what He wants you to work on in the year ahead. Each of our lives is so unique and different – but you can be sure that God has plans for you in 2019 and He wants to bless and grow you in the year ahead!

Consider writing these down in a notebook or on a piece of paper and check back in with God and with your resolutions over the year ahead. Ask God if there are other resolutions He is calling you to, other habits to break or make and continue to seek Him and His will as you live life in 2019 – and throughout your life!

A prayer…

Heavenly Father, thank You for this new day and new year. Please bless us and help us as we seek to become more like Your Son and our Savior Jesus. Please open our eyes to see the changes You want for us – and change our hearts to be willing to work on realizing these changes. Lord, help us to see this world through Your eyes, wanting Your will and purpose more than our own. Guide our steps and teach us Your ways that we can make an impact that is eternal and positive. Lord, help us to be peacemakers in this often angry world and help us to share Your love in big and small ways, gently pointing people to You and living a life that is worthy of the calling You have for us. We love You, God. You are so good to us and You bless us over and over again. May we bless You and bless others with the abundance of love and mercy You show to us. God, we dedicate today and the days ahead in 2019 to You and Your purposes. Please be with us and walk with us and encourage us, especially when the paths of this year become uncertain and frightening, when life feels overwhelming, when temptations try to distract us and when we face doubt or disillusionment. Help us to be faithful and to persevere, trusting You each day. Thank You for all the possibility and potential You have given us in this brand new day and brand new year. May we be faithful to do Your will and live each day fully for Your glory. In Jesus’s name we pray, Amen.

“Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.”

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