It’s hard to believe that another year is gone. It seems like I just got used to writing 2023 and now there’s a new one to remember! So, what are we going to do with this new year?
It’s tempting to look back on 2023 to talk about our challenges, our victories, our disappointments, and our failures. I suppose there is a place for that – particularly so we can learn from our mistakes – but today I want us to look ahead with enthusiasm and optimism.
No matter how bad your year or years have been, 2024 can be much better trusting and serving God.
“…one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” Philippians 3:13-14
How about beginning by forgetting about the past and looking to the future?
Forgetting about past sin…
Christians don’t forget about past sin by ignoring it, they put it behind them by dealing with it. Dealing with it means repenting (deciding it is wrong and desiring not to do it again). It means confessing it to God (1 Jn 1:9). It means a commitment to obeying God. And it means trusting God to forgive us in Christ so we can forgive ourselves and go on to serve God and others.
Let’s do serious self-examination that includes repentance and forgiveness (2 Co 13:5). Let’s start the year pure in His sight and ready to do God’s will in 2024 whatever His will is and whatever happens!
Forgetting about past accomplishments…
If we did good in the past, that’s good, but it’s necessary to be continuing to do good. We can’t live in the past – either on past failures or past successes. Serving God is a “now” proposition!
Dwelling on the past may make us proud, thinking that God is somehow blessed to have us as servants when the opposite is true (we are blessed to have Him as our Master – Lk 17:10).
In many ways, the future is NOW. Focusing on living in the present faithful to God is what will make the year 2024 a great year of serving to God for all of us. dd