In the Old Testament, memorial stones were a way of commemorating an momentous event so its lessons would never be forgotten. As you reflect on the key events and valuable lessons of 2015, what are some “memorial stones” that you want to carry with you into the new year?
As we anticipate serving God in 2016, what would be the single most important thing we could do? Jesus answers that question for us. “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength” (Mark 12:30).
As we anticipate living our lives for God in 2016, Proverbs 4:23 has a strategically important message for us – “Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life.” The things we allow our hearts (our inner being) to dwell on, are the same things that will determine our attitudes and actions in the days ahead. We need to fill our hears with God’s truth and the things that are pleasing to Him.
As we begin to make plans for the new year, James reminds us to humbly yield to God’s authority over our life. He writes, “Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit.”Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away.Instead, you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that” (James 4:13-15).
In these final days of 2015, it is appropriate to review the past year and begin to set goals and objectives for the new year. Psalm 90:12 says “So teach us to number our days, that we may get a heart of wisdom.” Let’s invite God’s wisdom as we anticipate the New Year.
Over 2000 years ago, infinite God expressed His love to finite man by taking on human flesh and being born as a baby in a manger. Christmas is the celebration of God’s greatest miracle. On this Christmas day, “The Lord bless you, and keep you; The Lord make His face shine on you, And be gracious to you; The Lord lift up His countenance on you, And give you peace” (Numbers 6:24-26).
We don’t want the holiday season to slip by without having an impact on our lives. From Angelic announcements to Magi bearing gifts, we are told that “Mary treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart” (Luke 2:19). Let’s ask God for a Spirit of wisdom to recognize and appreciate all that He is doing in our lives this Christmas.
Nothing touches the heart like the sweet sound of a child’s voice. I invite you to listen to the Christmas story, afresh, through the voice of 3 year old Zoe. Please feel free to share this recording with your spouse, your children or a friend. Another suggestion is to listen to it as a family on Christmas morning. Christmas Blessings to you as you listen to the Christmas Story through the voice of a child.