That may seem like a strange question. But when you consider all the negative events and news we’ve faced in recent months and years—both individually and as a nation—it really is something to think about. I say that because it’s so easy to allow negative things to invade our hearts and minds—our spirits. When that happens, we tend to listen more to what the world is saying—all the negative things—and ignore the positive, productive things God is saying to us through His Word and His messengers. We let what the world is saying and doing dictate how we live our lives.
Ever had this experience? Your day was all planned out—including beginning it by spending time with the Lord. Then, the unexpected happens. First you oversleep, leaving little or no time for Bible reading. Then, you turn on the TV to check the weather and a news report catches your attention. Or maybe your child just doesn’t want to cooperate in the morning, and now you’re going to be late getting to work. Your intentions were good when you started out your day, but nevertheless you’ve accomplished nothing. Most importantly, you’ve allowed distractions to keep you from spending time in prayer and reading God’s Word.
Hebrews 4:12, The Amplified Bible, Classic Edition, says, “For the Word that God speaks is alive and full of power [making it active, operative, energizing, and effective]; it is sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating to the dividing line of the breath of life (soul) and [the immortal] spirit, and of joints and marrow [of the deepest parts of our nature], exposing and sifting and analyzing and judging the very thoughts and purposes of the heart.” That’s just how powerful God’s Word is. Yet, so many times people treat the Bible like any other book. They pick it up, read a few words, and then put it down—never really realizing the power contained on those pages. And because they don’t, they miss the blessings God has promised and provided for them through His Word.
As this year comes to an end, take a moment to remember and appreciate the opportunities God gave you throughout the year to live out His plan and purpose for your life. You were given the privilege to live the good life—to have better relationships, to equip yourself for success, to grow in faith and mature spiritually—so you could be a blessing to God and His kingdom. A new year is dawning, and God is looking to use you to do even greater works for Him—to have an even greater impact on the lives of others, by sharing His love and goodness, than you’ve had in the past.
In less than 24 hours, we will say goodbye to the old and hello to the new. The year 2018 will have become history, and we will have stepped into a new season of life. As we enter the New Year with great optimism, expecting God to do even greater things for us as we strive to help build His kingdom, let’s reflect on and learn from the things we encountered this year. God has positioned us to prosper—to move forward, succeed and live victoriously. Through Him, and with the help of the Holy Spirit, we have strength to be and do all He has called us to be and do.
I hope you had an enjoyable time with family and friends this Christmas. But more important than that, I hope you had an exciting time celebrating Jesus and all that His death, burial and resurrection means for you. Sometimes we get so caught up in the spirit of Christmas that we forget the spiritual and natural benefits behind this blessed occasion.