Wednesday, December 31, 2008

God's Perscription for a Happy New Year

2009 is standing on the threshold and once again the question arises … “What about New Year Resolutions?”
I think most of us have been there, done that, and realized they are all too soon forgotten!

I wondered about why we have such a fascination with the first day of a new year !
I thought .. usually when something seems to have such an ingrained importance somewhere there is a link back to a God-deposited truth or principle.
And then the thought struck me that if that were true then there would be something to glean from scripture.
I did a search and found some interesting references. I used them to create this post, leaving the verses in the order of occurrence in the bible.

I invite you to walk with me through “God’s Prescription for a Happy New Year!”

Trust His Promises

The very first reference to the first day of a new year is in Gen. 8:14 where it says……”And it came to pass in the six hundred and first year, in the first month, the first day of the month, that the waters were dried up from the earth; and Noah removed the covering of the ark and looked, and indeed the surface of the ground was dry.”

Here we have the first reference to a New Year’s Day .. and isn’t it exactly how we see a new year - as a new beginning, a clean slate, a reason for renewed hope and excitement of what the new year will bring?

Here we see Noah standing with the promises of God over him , symbolized by the rainbow !

How thankful we can be for God’s promises that are new again on the first day of a new year!
What promises of God are important to you as you begin 2009?


Pay attention to His Commandments

In Ex. 12:2 we read…”This month shall be your beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year to you.” Then followed God’s instructions to Aaron and Moses regarding the Passover. If they would follow His instructions God promised the destroyer would not have power to strike them !

What a great time to review God’s commandments…. Are we obeying God’s laws so that He can bless our coming in and going out in 2009 ? Is His Word held high as our shield to protect us from the firery darts of the enemy ?


Prepare a Place of Worship

In Exodus 40:2 , God commanded the Israelites ….. “On the first day of the first month you shall set up the tabernacle of the tent of meeting.”

What a perfect time … the first day of the first month… to set up a time and a place for us to fellowship with God - to prepare our heart as a tabernacle in our busy lives where we can retreat to meet with God face to face throughout the year !

Make Necessary Repairs

In II Chron. 29:3 we read about Hezekiah , the king. “In the first year of his reign, in the first month, he opened the doors of the house of the LORD and repaired them.“

Perhaps your ‘tent of meeting’ needs some repair. Has something crept into your life that has broken it down or made it a place cluttered with things that should not be there?


Santify Yourself

2Ch 29:17 "Now they began to sanctify on the first day of the first month, and on the eighth day of the month they came to the vestibule of the LORD. So they sanctified the house of the LORD in eight days, and on the sixteenth day of the first month they finished."

Though the sanctification began on New Year’s Day .. it took some time.
As it should for us as well. It takes time to examine the things in our life and put them in order. To prioritize, to downsize, to sort and discard, to clean.
We belong to the Lord, we are His tabernacle. Is everything in our life ‘sanctified’ -- set apart ‘ for His use? Or are there things that we keep just for ourselves, our own selfish pleasure or profit?
If we ,at the beginning of each year, examined the things in our life - our personal inner life as well as the outer things seen by others, would we not be putting ourselves in a place of service to honour and glorify our Lord ?

Prepare for a Jouney

It is interesting that Ezra, having received permission from the king to travel to Jerusalem to rebuild the walls of his beloved city, began his journey on the first day of the first month --- and .. I love this…. “according to the good hand of his God upon him.” (Ezra 7:9)

On New Year’s Day we embark on a journey, it promises to be be exactly a year long. We have no idea where the journey will take us …or even if we will complete the journey. Though the journey is one into uncharted territory, how comforting to know it is ‘according to the good hand of God upon us’ !!
He has already gone ahead to prepare the way for us !


Repent

In Ezra 10:17 we read “By the first day of the first month they finished questioning all the men who had taken pagan wives.”

Is there sin in our life that is displeasing to God? Are we willing to rid ourselves of it, repent and then wholeheartedly follow after God and His righteousness?

Listen for God's Voice

There are several verses I found where it spoke of hearing God’s voice as in Ezra 29:17 “And it came to pass in the twenty-seventh year, in the first month, on the first day of the month, that the word of the LORD came to me, saying…”

Do we hear God’s voice this New Year’s Day ? Are we listening, eager to hear what He is saying to us ? We are so quick to make our own plans….but how important it is to listen first to what God has to say and then our choices, our decisions will be good ones and our steps will fall in solid places!

Prepare a Sacrifice

In Ezra 45:18 God called for a special sacrifice on New Year’s Day…. “Thus says the Lord GOD: ‘In the first month, on the first day of the month, you shall take a young bull without blemish and cleanse the sanctuary’ .”

A sacrifice… something special you offer to God that is of value to Him because of what it accomplishes.
I offer you a challenge. This new year give something to God that is just between you and Him…perhaps something He has already been speaking to you about… perhaps something you have never done before… perhaps something no one else will ever know about!

I already know what mine will be…. Do you know what yours will be ??
*****

I wish YOU, my blogging friend, a very blessed New Year ! and pray that it might be a special journey that leads you into a closer walk with God.

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9 comments:

Lovella said...

Julie thank you for pointing us to God's word for our new years outlook. . and thank you for the challenge.
Happy New Year to you too.

Tammie @ Are You For Real? said...

I love how your mind works! Who would have thought to follow this path through God's Word ... yet it was strewn with beautiful jewels we would have missed had you not investigated it. What strong clear guidance for our our New Year!

May we live pleasing before Him this year ... not saving anything back, but sharing every wisdom He gives us ... reaching every goal He sets before us ... learning every lesson He teaches us ... enjoying every blessing He pours out on us ... and praising His name every opportunity we have! May He bless you and Vic SO richly in 2009, my sweet friend, and wave HIS banner of love over you.

Judy said...

A wonderful post for the New Year, Julie. Thanks for sharing a 'prescription' from scripture...and ending with a challenge. I'm thinking...

Happy New Year!

Trish said...

I like Judy's words....prescription from scripture. And Tammies notes about the path strewn with jewels.... You know Julie dearest.. many of the blessings I receive from your blog are also found in the comments for these are where the truths to the reader are revealed. Happy New Year gentle lady and may our paths cross again.

Anonymous said...

Keep sharing your thoughts and pointing us to scripture. Happy New Year. Kathy

Marg said...

Thank-you for sharing practical encouraging words that make sense.
I like how you used the word prescription.
It makes sense in my language.
May you have a year filled with blessings.

Demara said...

Yes I know what I shall do, and what I hope to happen. May God intervene and flourish! AMEN

charlotte said...

i am always amazed at the power of your words...i know my sacrifice, and it will hurt...good thing for God's mercy.

betty r said...

I too say thank you for your encouraging and helpful posts Julie. I like the challenges you put out there for us.
Looking forward to more..