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Selected and adapted

Another year of our life will soon be passed. Yesterday cannot be recalled, tomorrow cannot be assured, today (now) is all the time we have. How foolishly some scorn the yesterdays that have passed, wasted today and wish for tomorrows before they reach us. It is true now, as always, that the future is uncertain.

Because of the one-time opportunities the next twelve months will bring, the new year will be what we make of it. The Scriptures counsel us to “redeem” the time carefully (Eph. 5:16). We may jest about “new year’s resolutions,” but without resolve the new year will be less than it should. We ought to rise early and work late, crafting the years moments into worthwhile achievements. The unique value of the coming year will be damaged if we fail to act energetically. This year is ours to do with as we will.

I have a few suggestions which might be used to make the coming year a better one. I don’t think any of them will startle or amaze you, but they are all things which I believe every person can profit from doing.

1. Let us resolve to be faithful. There will be many difficult points in the course of our new travels. There will be mountains to climb and obstacles to overcome. We must be faithful to finish the course (2 Tim. 4:7). We must “lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us and run with patience the race that is set before us” (Heb. 12:1). No doubt, there will be mistakes, failures and disappointments this year. We must do our best to correct and overcome them. They must not deter us from the accomplishment of our goal (1 Cor. 15:58).

2. Let us resolve that we will study God’s Word more this next year. We are commanded, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly” (Col. 3:16), but how can we if we never put the word in our hearts by diligent study (2 Tim. 2:15)? Embarking on the journey of this new year, we need to “ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein” (Jer. 6:16). With the Psalmist we should acknowledge to the Lord, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path” (Psa. 119:105). The only way to traverse this new road is by the guidebook and divine map of the Great Designer. The Bible can help make our journey a safe and prosperous one. What more important use could a Christian make of his time than in studying the Word of God?

3. Let us resolve that we will worship God every first day of the week and on every other occasion when the saints assemble (Acts 2:42; 20:7; Heb. 10:24-25). Are we putting God first if we allow vacation, trips, visiting relatives, television, rest, or work to keep us from assembling with God’s people to worship? God has always required the best of our time, talents and possessions. Let us resolves to try harder. And no matter your age you can do better this year than you did last. All it takes is a little extra push.

4. Let us resolve to be more evangelistically minded. Each one of us meets many individuals every day, at work, at play, at school, in stores, etc., who are without Christ and His church and therefore are lost and bound for an eternity in hell. Let us determine that we will make a definite and steadfast effort to rescue at least one soul from eternal ruin in this next year. What greater resolution than to seek to win some soul to Christ in this new year?

5. May each of us resolve that we will live one day at a time in this new year. Jesus said, “Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof” (Matt. 6:34). Let us pray at the beginning of each new day, “Lord, today I will give my very best to thee. I will be a good example that others may see Thee in me.” If I do this, then when this year has flown by, I will be able to look back with no regrets but with a sense of satisfaction and contentment instead.

It may very well be possible that we need to alter our course. We may need to make some serious changes. Where are we going? Where will the path we are now following lead us? Are we on the path that leads to life eternal? We will never be able to travel over this same road again. Our obedience to God’s Word is the only way to ensure that our new year will be a happy one! Yes, those who accept and obey the Word of the Lord can be guaranteed a happy journey through this new year, and a happy eternity in the future.

Let us make this new year the best year of our lives starting today! With God’s help, and diligent effort on our part, we can and we shall. Our wish from our house to yours, is that you may put first things first all through this year.

Selected and adapted

A New Year, Selected

He came to my desk with quivering lip,
The lesson was done.
“Have you a new leaf for me, dear Teacher?
I have spoiled this one!”

I took his leaf, all soiled and blotted
And gave him a new one, all unspotted,
Then into his tired heart I smiled:
“Do better now, my Child!”

I went to the throne with trembling heart,
The year was done.
“Have you a New Year for me, dear Master?
I have spoiled this one!”

He took my year, all soiled and blotted
And gave me a new one, all unspotted,
Then, into my tired heart he smiled:
“Do better now, my Child!”

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