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New Year, New You?

December 31, 2022

New Year resolutions; promises made but never kept?

We make all manner of plans to be better at (fill in the myriad of goals or plans ad infinitum), presumably with good intentions, but often (always?), those intentions are sidelined are set aside within days, weeks, or months. Today, while driving about for Lyft, two of my favorite teachers spoke to this from a biblical perspective, and that “…still, small voice…” seemed to be telling me to listen up.

First, a stop in Colossians by Dr. Stephen Davey for a profound and awe-full reminder for me as I begin another year (

24 Now I rejoice in my sufferings for you, and I am completing in my flesh what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for his body, that is, the church. 25 I have become its servant, according to God’s commission that was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known, 26 the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to his saints. 2God wanted to make known among the Gentiles the glorious wealth of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. 28 We proclaim him, warning and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone mature in Christ.[1]

As Paul continues his message to the believers at Colossae, he shares a reminder of his sufferings for the Gospel, but in comparison with the following revelation, suffering seems negligible. This truth is often overlooked or, at best, neglected by many (most?) believers. Christ in you! God in us, working in and through us; not a little bit of God in each believer, but all of the deity resides in all who are “…born again….” A mystery, but oh, to experience this glorious truth.

Following this, I listened to another preacher, Dr. Tony Evans of the Urban Alternative (Key to a Successful New Year – The Urban Alternative ( Dr. Evans’s comparison between our facing a New Year with Israel facing challenges with the leadership of Moses sets a mood of hope for whatever God may allow in the coming year.

After the death of Moses the Lord’s servant, the Lord spoke to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’s assistant: Moses my servant is dead. Now you and all the people prepare to cross over the Jordan to the land I am giving the Israelites. I have given you every place where the sole of your foot treads, just as I promised Moses. Your territory will be from the wilderness and Lebanon to the great river, the Euphrates River—all the land of the Hittites—and west to the Mediterranean Sea. No one will be able to stand against you as long as you live. I will be with you, just as I was with Moses. I will not leave you or abandon you. [2]

Moses, the man God used to lead Israel out of bondage in Egypt, had died. They had become accustomed to his constant presence through the years, and his death may have caused some uncertainty among the people. While Joshua had been one of the two servants of Moses who had stood out for his faithfulness and courage, he was essentially untested as a national leader. God emphatically reminds Israel that it was not Moses who delivered them and led them to their promised land; God was in charge all the time. Over and over, God had tested them (and their leaders), and His presence went with them through their wanderings.

Nothing had changed! As they prepared to enter the land God had promised them, yes, the human leader had changed. However, more importantly, God did not and would fulfill His promises toward His chosen people.

Now, we face a new page in the calendar, and with all that has happened previously, many find their knees knocking as they look toward the following year. Threats to life and livelihood abound; some imagined and others all too real. But God…He has not changed, and He will not change, regardless of what the year ahead may hold.

Corrie ten Boom was a well-known and loved woman whose struggles during World War II while imprisoned with her family for helping the Jews, said it best and I close with this:

“If you look at the world, you’ll be distressed. If you look within, you’ll be depressed. If you look at God, you’ll be at rest.”

[1] Christian Standard Bible (Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers, 2020), Col 1:24–28.

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