Happy New Year!
This past Sunday we continued our series Be Set Free, a study of the Book of Exodus, seeing the people of Israel now on the other side of the Red Sea after having been set free by God.
Their situation there on the far shore of the Red Sea parallels with what it means to be a Christian today: they had been set free from bondage, but that wasn’t the end of their journey, it was only the beginning! God was taking them to the Promised Land.
Our theme for this upcoming year is "Forward, to what lies ahead."
As the people of Israel stood on the bank of the Red Sea, they sang a song of thanksgiving and praise, which had 2 aspects:
- They sang in response: They looked back and remembered what God had brought them through and gave thanks for God had done for them.
- They sang in faith: They looked forward to lay ahead and what God had in store for them in the time to come.
This is a great model for us as we come into this new year.
I encourage you to look back and give thanks to God for His faithfulness and mercy that you experienced in 2016 — for the answered prayers, for the abundant grace and for salvation in Jesus. Be like the one former leper in Luke 17:11-19
, who returned to Jesus to give thanks, rather than the nine who didn’t.
Once you’ve done that, I encourage you to look forward to this coming year and seek God about what He might want this next year of your life to be like — and then make plans and take steps accordingly, so that those good intentions actually become reality.
What does God want this next year to look like for you?
Start with what you already know is His will and His desire for you:
- Walk with Him and serve Him. Seek Him in His Word, in corporate worship and study and in community with other believers.
- Honor Him in your work and with your finances.
- Honor Him in your relationships, particularly in your marriages.
- If you have kids, lead them to Him and in His ways.
Determining to do things which are in line with God’s heart and His desires, then planning and working toward those things is an act of faith and obedience. So let this new year be filled with godly goals and pursuits.
I pray that this coming year would be one in which you experience His work in you and through you in a greater way than ever before!