New Beginnings

2 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”

Here in the Midwest portion of the United States, we are in a deep freeze. It is a time that tries men’s souls. But if you are well prepared, it becomes manageable. For what things are out of our control, we must give those over to God to manage for us. But, for those things put into our hands, we must be willful in our planning and diligent in carrying out that plan.

This new year will bring a boom of new diet plans, pills and methods to lose weight. There will be new strategies to save money, make money, and win money. New business ideas will blossom and others die. Some will be hired and others let go. Some will purpose to start that new hobby, craft or home project. Still for some, this will be the year they retire. Some to inspire and sadly some will expire.

But how many will start this year saying, “This is the year I walk closer to God.” or “This is the year I read through my Bible.” or “This is the year I lead my first soul to Christ” or “This is the year I see prayers answered, family saved or teach that class.”? The energy and focus it takes to not only start something spiritual, but also sustain it through the year takes a steady will, an accountability plan and desire.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.”

Beginning your day with God ensures that He, at the very least, has an opportunity to break through and teach us, touch us, and transform us. Without Him, it becomes you against the world – in the flesh. All we really need do is look back to those times we trusted our plans, our way, our strength to get us through and look at the fruit of those decisions.

I read a motivational statement the other day, “If you’re tired of starting over, don’t stop”. My plans for losing weight get derailed at the first sight of sweets or unplanned snacking. This year, I am preparing to enter my 59th year at a weight much lower than I started. I know the pitfalls, the difficulties, and am making a plan for all of them. But I also have spiritual goals as well.

As you enjoy this day, set aside some time to reflect, and meditate on just how you will accomplish those things you resolved will not happen again this year. Daniel’s example can help us:

Daniel 1:8 “But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.”

Daniel purposed that no matter what was put before Him, it was going to follow the plan he had set to keep himself clean and healthy. Without a goal, we have nothing to aim for, nothing at which to shoot. New year’s offers us the opportunity, and most, if not all of us, have been given a day away from work for the holiday.

If you truly value what it is you are desiring to change, then we will need to take the time to bolster our spirit, sit down and make a realistic plan, find a way to be accountable and just do it.

I pray that this year, Daily Manna will be a blessing and a challenge to your heart, mind and life. Our whole goal is to help God’s children draw closer in relationship to Him and exhort the faithful to use their gifts and talents for eternal rewards. In so doing, families will be made strong, homes more peaceful, and churches to thrive because you have taken an active part in it’s growth.

Happy New Year and may God use all that you put in His hands to bless!

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