What Are Your Plans for the New Year?
Where is God in Those Plans?
In just a few days, it is out with the old and in with the new. A new year is a time of change. This is the time that many people make New Year’s resolutions.
Babylonians made promises to their gods at the start of each year that they would return borrowed objects and pay their debts.
The Romans began each year by making promises to the god Janus, for whom the month of January is named.
In the Medieval era, the knights took the “peacock vow” at the end of the Christmas season each year to re-affirm their commitment to chivalry.
At watchnight services, many Christians prepare for the year ahead by praying and making these resolutions.
This tradition has many other religious parallels. During Judaism’s New Year, Rosh Hashanah, through the High Holidays and culminating in Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement), one is to reflect upon one’s wrongdoings over the year and both seek and offer forgiveness. People can act similarly during the Christian liturgical season of Lent, although the motive behind this holiday is more of sacrifice than of responsibility. In fact, the Methodist practice of New Year’s resolutions came, in part, from the Lenten sacrifices. The concept, regardless of creed, is to reflect upon self-improvement annually.
With a resolution, we make a decision to change something in our life.
In 2 Thessalonians 1:11–12, Paul calls on us to live a life worthy of God’s calling on our life. Living a life worthy of God’s calling is a day by day choice.
2 Thessalonians 1:11–12 To this end we always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling and may fulfill every resolve for good and every work of faith by his power, so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.
So, how do you make resolutions?
First, by God’s grace. If God is the center of your New Year’s resolution, it will be successful. God’s will for something in your life will enable you to fulfill it. A resolution should honor God and be in agreement with His Word.
John 15:5 I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.
Then, through faith in God’s power. Faith is so very important in our life. Without faith, our relationship with Jesus will not grow.
Philippians 4:13 I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.
And finally, for God’s glory. We want to make God’s glory shine. We want to make it visible. Our life should be a reflection of God for people to see.
Psalm 37:5-6 Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.
Perhaps you are reading this and you have never made that decision to submit your life to Jesus. You can do that today, right here, right now. Pray this simple prayer and see how your life will change in 2018.
I admit that I am a sinner. I have done many things that don’t please you. I have lived my life for myself only. I am sorry, and I repent. I ask you to forgive me.
I believe that you died on the cross for me, to save me. You did what I could not do for myself. I come to you now and ask you to take control of my life; I give it to you. From this day forward, help me to live every day for you and in a way that pleases you.
I love you, Lord, and I thank you that I will spend all eternity with you.
- Lennox, Doug (2007). Now You Know Big Book of Answers one of the amazing thing. Toronto: Dundurn. p. 250. ISBN1-55002-741-7.
- Julia Jasmine (1998). Multicultural Holidays. Teacher Created Resources. p. 116. ISBN1-55734-615-1.
- Lennox, Doug (2007). Now You Know Big Book of Answers. Toronto: Dundurn. p. 250. ISBN1-55002-741-7.
- James Ewing Ritchie (1870). The Religious Life of London. Tinsley Brothers. Retrieved 2011-12-28. At A WATCH-NIGHT SERVICE: Methodism has one special institution. Its lovefeasts are old-old as Apostolic times. Its class meetings are the confessional in its simplest and most unobjectionable type, but in the institution of the watch-night it boldly struck out a new path for itself. In publicly setting apart the last fleeting moments of the old year and the first of the new to penitence, and special prayer, and stirring appeal, and fresh resolve, it has set an example which other sects are preparing to follow.
What Are Your Plans for the New Year? Where is God in Those Plans?