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Posts Tagged ‘New Year’s Eve’

Beginnings Are God’s Specialty

January 1st, 2010

A note about next week:

I will be away from the office next week and unable to resume the usual devotional until Monday, January 11. May I suggest you browse the EveryDay Life archive at www.allenrandolph.com. Again, I thank you for the privilege of another year of sharing with you some practical thoughts of God’s powerful Word for everyday life.

As I write on this New Year’s morning, Gayle and I pray for a truly Blessed New Year, prosperous for you and your family, and that your life be fruitful for the Kingdom of God. Let’s begin well and finish strong in the new year and new decade of 2010. Allen Randolph

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“This month shall be your beginning of months.” Exodus 12:2 NKJV

“I wish there were some wonderful place called the Land of Beginning Again.”

My thoughts today are that “beginnings are God’s specialty.”

“Happy New Year” is just not a worthy objective for welcoming a new year. That greeting, however traditional and well intended, suggests that your enjoyment of the year just begun is tied to what happens in the year, and that is something that none of us can actually control. In fact, you know that along with the favorable things that will come your way and the kindnesses that will be shown you by others, you will also face challenges you do not anticipate and difficulties you do not foresee.

Instead, I have chosen to desire for myself and others “a Blessed New Year,” an upcoming season of God’s presence and favor upon all that is done in His Name, whatever any momentary circumstance may be. See 2 Corinthians 4:15-18 NIV. I love the resounding assurance of the psalmist, “You visit the earth . . greatly enrich it . . provide their grain . .  water it . . settle its furrows . . You bless its growth. You crown the year with Your goodness and Your paths drip with abundance.” Psalm 65:9-11 NKJV. Now that is a blessed new year every year! That is the expectation with which I want to live my life every day; and that is also my heart and prayer for you.

Many years ago I learned a portion of a poem that suits this change of calendar, “I wish there were some wonderful place, Called the Land of Beginning Again. Where all our mistakes and all our heartaches, And all of our selfish grief, Could be dropped like a shabby old coat at the door, And never put on again.” (Louise Fletcher) That is the longing in every heart at each change of the calendar. Wherever in the world that crowds gathered last night with good cheer and optimism, they held one hope: that their life would be better this year – that they would do better; they would be better.

You can experience exactly that – forgiveness for every sin, healing from every hurt, release from every regret, hope in every situation, peace in every turmoil, assurance when uncertain, restoration of relationships, wisdom in every decision, alone but not lonely, and new beginnings every day! That place is at the foot of a cross where the Savior died for your sins long ago, and yet lives today to “crown the year with (His) goodness.” Read also Isaiah 53:4-6 NKJV.

New beginnings are God’s specialty. Who hasn’t needed them? He introduces us to Himself with the simple, yet profound words, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” Genesis 1:1. In preparation for delivering Israel from Egypt’s slavery, God reset their calendar to announce their new beginning, “This month shall be the beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year to you.” Exodus 12:2 NKJV. Almighty God forever changed Israel’s history, as He can change yours.

Let me be clear, a new beginning does not happen because of the change of a calendar or anything that happens outside of you; a new beginning can only happen for you when grace and spiritual change happens inside of you. Only God can do that! “What this means is that those who become Christians become new persons. They are not the same anymore, for their old life is gone. A new life has begun.” 2 Corinthians 5:17 NLT. God also specializes in finishing well what He begins. See Philippians 1:6 NLT/Hebrews 12:2 NLT/Revelation 22:13 NLT.

My prayer for you today is for a blessed year, crowned with God’s grace and goodness.

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Forget Something? Good!

December 31st, 2009

“Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead.” Philippians 3:13 NIV

Forgetting is often where healing happens, and only you can make it so.

My thoughts today ask, “Forget something? That’s a good thing!”

Forgetfulness is not always a bad thing. In fact, sometimes it is the best thing. There are things that you do not need to remember, things that only bring worry or pain, things for which you have no answer or explanation. Such things accumulate like so much trash, crowding out more profitable memories that edify and encourage. Do you ever remember what you should forget, and forget what you should remember?

In my home growing up, my chore was to take out the trash, and my Dad kept me reminded to do so. I guess I needed to hear a lot more, “Son, have you taken out the trash?” than my Dad should have needed to say. At our home now that is still one of my jobs. Every Friday is trash day. Newspapers and old mail are thrown away daily, but the garbage truck comes Friday morning, so Thursday after work is the time to gather all the things needing to be carried out and thrown away. My Dad taught me a valuable lesson about everyday life, whether or not that was his intent. I think life works better when you learn to take out the trash regularly.

Today is another New Year’s Eve. People across the globe will gather in private and public places to welcome in a new year. The world celebrates the end of each year in their wish for things being better in a New Year, different than they were. But wishing will not make that so. Things once done cannot easily be undone. The past can become a terrible prison where things hold you that you alone can no longer change.

The church gathers in homes or sanctuaries this New Year’s Eve, grateful to God that He has taken away the old mistakes and sins of our past, and given forgiveness and a new start in Christ. “If anyone is in Christ Jesus, he is a new creation; old things are passed away, and all things have become new.” 2 Corinthians 5.17. Forgiveness without forgetting is not as freeing as God intends.

I love the story of Joseph. There was a lot of hurtful trash; some from his lack of wisdom, but much the family and others dumped on him. To survive and keep his dreams, Joseph had to learn how to take out the trash of his painful, unfair past. In Egypt, to Joseph was born two sons. Read Genesis 41:51-52 NIV. The first son, he named Manasseh, when he understood, “For God made me forget all my trouble.” Forgetting is often where healing happens. The second son, he named Ephraim, as he explained, “For God has made me fruitful in my suffering.” Counting your blessings is where celebrating begins.

Mistakes and mishaps, things you and others who may have said or done, may have shaped your appraisal of 2009, but you have the power of choice to greatly reshape a new year as God intends for you. A few days ago, a friend shared with me this Scripture for my new year, and now I give it to you, “His allowance was a continual allowance given him of the King, a daily rate for every day, all the days of his life.” 2 Kings 25:30 KJV. That’s what I pray for you everyday!

My prayer for you is: your review will see only good, and your expectation be for the best.

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