From the Beginning of the Year
For the land which you go to possess is not like the land of Egypt from which you have come . . . but the land which you cross over to possess is a land of hills and valleys, which drinks water from the rain of heaven, a land for which the Lord your God cares; the eyes of the Lord your God are always on it, from the beginning of the year to the very end of the year. Deuteronomy 11:10-14 NKJV
Happy New Year! Have you thought about making a new year’s resolution or have you thought about making some change in your life? Every year, many resolve to lose weight, start exercising, get out of debt, pray and study more, or start giving God more of their time, talent, or treasure, etc. I learned long ago that God doesn’t esteem one day or year over another. There is nothing magical or mystical in the formulation, the numerology, or any revelation about the year ”2017.”
Real change doesn’t necessarily occur with New Year resolutions—it happens in the New Creation (2 Cor. 5:17). In the text above, just as it was promised to Israel after coming out of Egypt, God also reminds you that He has His eyes on you to bless you from the beginning of the year to the end of the year; His blessings are always yours when you are willing to change according to His Word. I set myself in agreement with you for a blessed and prosperous year.
It has been said that “to live is to grow and to grow is to change.” Day after day, year after year, growth can only be measured by your positive changes made in your relationship with God and others, Real change is not reformation, rehabilitation, or re-education; it is repenting of your old ways (Acts 3:19). Real change is owning up to the past choices you’ve made—not making excuses or shifting blame (Acts 17:30). If you’ll obey God, do His will, and remain faithful to Him from the beginning of the year to the end of the year, the blessings of harvest of good things are yours in any year (Gal. 6:9).
So, a New Year’s resolution is not repentance. Repentance is changing your mind and believing God. Jesus’ preaching, “repent, and believe the gospel” (Mark 1:14-15) was a proclamation and invitation to learn from the lessons of the past, heed the instructions of the present, and envision the opportunities of the future to strengthen your faith from the beginning of the year to the end of the year. Again, happy New Year. May this be your best year ever!