God Makes All Things New I remember those wonderful days in elementary school when the second week of June would come and I enjoyed the last day of school. We always started school back then in Pennsylvania, the day after Labor Day, so we continued school into early June and sometimes longer due to snow days in the winter.
I remember counting down the days, and then the last day of school the hours and minutes. I still remember that fantastic feeling of leaving the school grounds behind after turning in my books and cleaning out my desk and leisurely, care free, heading home to the start of a new summer. There was something in the warm air of early summer that was exciting as I enjoyed walking the mile home from school and contemplating the how I was going to spend my brand-new summer vacation. I was filled with expectations of lots of time with my friends playing baseball and just having fun.
Those were the days. A blank slate of approximately three months to plan and do as I pleased with the support of my parents, of course. That is how, as an adult, I approach 2021.
God has given to each of us a brand-new blank canvas on our easel to paint. We have a new brush and a new palette of colors at our disposal to allow God, who will guide our hand, to paint a new picture of what a year will look like. How long will the pandemic be part of the 2021 scene God is painting? What are the fun and joyous times we will have? What will be the lows of the year? What changes will we make in our lives? What will stay the same?
We have the privilege in Christ to look forward all the time. We are on a journey and if you are over 35 years of age, you are about halfway home to your destination in heaven. For those of us in our 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, the number of our days are quickly passing faster and faster.
I find at age 62, I am learning and thinking more about how I can make my days count and get the most meaning out of them and invest in eternal things on a daily basis. My days are numbered, but in reality, no one knows when God will call them home. No one is guaranteed 70 years by God to live. We take one day at a time and do what we can to make the most of it for God.
Paul said in Philippians 3:13 -14 says “Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Three quick takeaways from these verses for the New Year
1. Learn from the past. Paul is not saying don’t remember your past but learn from your past, take the life lessons you have learned, the good and the bad and apply those lessons and principles to your life moving forward. It would be good to journal these life lessons learned in 2020 in a notebook to refer to throughout the year.
2. Look with hope and expectation to the future. You have a blank calendar in front of you and you, along with God’s help, can discern and decide how you want to make the most of each day for His glory and your personal spiritual growth.
3. Always strive to honor and please God because ultimately, we are all playing the game of life to an Audience of One. God is who we want to hear say at the end of our lives “Well done thou good and faithful servant. Enter now into the joy of your salvation.” The future is in your hands and God’s The more we hold on to His hand and let Him guide us through the uncertainty of a year of new days, the more our purpose of being here on earth will be fulfilled. What are some small changes you can make in your daily routine that could add up to a big improvement in your life by the end of 2021? Don’t let the past define you. With Christ, change is always possible and with the Holy Spirit indwelling us, we are able to utilize the power of the resurrection over sinful habits to develop godly habits. Praying and trusting God for a good start to 2021. I am faithfully,
Yours and His, Pastor Ed Hedding