VIDEO Are You Ready for a New Year? New Year’s Resolution

You turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead. 1 Thessalonians 1:9-10

No one knows what 2022 holds, so don’t enter this year alone. Take Christ with you. If you aren’t sure of His involvement in your life, this is a perfect day for getting a fresh start with Him. Turn to God from idols and determine to serve Christ as you await His return from heaven.

God loves you. He became a Man who lived perfectly. When He died on the cross, He shed His blood to cover your sins. Begin this year by asking Him to be your Savior and Lord. Learn to walk with Him. Serve Him. He knows how the future unfolds, and He cares for you.

Commit your life to Christ now, at this moment, and enjoy His blessings throughout the coming year and the years to come.

Dear Lord Jesus, I know that I am a sinner, and I ask for Your forgiveness. I believe You died for my sins and rose from the dead. I turn from my sins and invite You to come into my heart and life. I want to trust and follow You as my Lord and Savior. In Your Name, Amen.
Billy Graham’s invitational prayer


Waiting For His Son From Heaven – 1 Thessalonians 1:1-10

The Word and a New Year

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. John 1:1

Michellan faced challenges while growing up in the Philippines, but she always loved words and found comfort in them. Then one day while attending university, she read the first chapter in the gospel of John, and her “stone heart stirred.” She felt like someone was saying, “Yes, you love words, and guess what? There is an Eternal Word, one who . . . can cut through the darkness, now and always. A Word who took on flesh. A Word who can love you back.”

She was reading the gospel that begins with words that would have reminded John’s readers of the opening of Genesis: “In the beginning . . .” (Genesis 1:1). John sought to show that Jesus was not only with God at the beginning of time but was God (John 1:1). And this living Word became a man “and made his dwelling among us” (v. 14). Further, those who receive Him, believing in His name, become His children (v. 12).

Michellan embraced God’s love that day and was “born of God” (v. 13). She credits God for saving her from her family’s pattern of addiction and now writes about the good news of Jesus, delighting in sharing her words about the Living Word.

If we’re believers in Christ, we too can share God’s message and His love. As we begin 2022, what grace-filled words can we speak this year?

By:  Amy Boucher Pye

Reflect & Pray

What does it mean that Jesus is the Word of God? What difference will this make to your life in this new year?

Jesus, give me the words to speak, that I might bless someone with Your grace and love today and in this new year.

What Does It Mean to Follow Jesus?

The disciples learned by being around Jesus, but today we have a Helper from whom we can learn just as well

Matthew 4:18-25

We might think it was easier for the disciples to follow Jesus than it is for us today. After all, they were able to experience His physical presence and learn from His example, whereas we can’t touch, see, or hear Him the way they could.

But Christ made provision for His work to continue after He left this earth: He promised the disciples a Helper who would never leave them—a Helper who would actually live within them (John 14:16-17). 

Today we, too, follow Jesus by hearing and heeding His indwelling Holy Spirit. In fact, there’s no better way to get personal guidance. As Jesus did for His disciples, the Spirit guides us each step of the way and teaches us the truths of God. But His work goes beyond that. The Holy Spirit transforms us from the inside out and enables us to serve and obey the Lord. He helps us discover God’s will for our life and shows how to walk in His path. All we have to do is follow. 

An essential requirement for following Jesus is sensitivity to the Holy Spirit’s voice. And the more yielded we are to His guidance, the sharper our spiritual hearing will become. 

A New Song for a New Year

“Sing unto him a new song; play skilfully with a loud noise.” (Psalm 33:3)

This is the first of nine references in the Bible to a “new song.” Appropriately, the song of Psalm 33 deals with the primeval event of creation, and it is the first psalm that does so (note also Psalm 104, etc.).

The new song is to be sung with instrumental accompaniment. However, the Hebrew word translated “loud noise” is so translated nowhere else; it is translated many different ways, but perhaps the familiar rendering “joyful sound” (Psalm 89:15) is the most appropriate here. In any case, this new song is of great importance and so should be performed well and joyfully, for it deals with the grandest of themes.

First of all is the great assertion that “the word of the LORD” is always right and the “works” of the Lord are always of truth (33:4). His righteousness and goodness are evident everywhere to those with eyes to see and hearts to believe (v. 5).

Then there is the vital revelation that God’s creation of all things was simply by His mighty word, “the breath of his mouth,” accomplished instantly, and not dragged out over long ages of evolutionary trial and error. “He spake, and it was done” (vv. 6, 9).

Furthermore, it is a comfort to know that God does not change, though new years come and go. “The counsel of the LORD standeth for ever” (v. 11). “Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD” (v. 12).

There are many other great themes in this new song, and it would indeed be well to read and rehearse them all as the new year begins, committing ourselves once again to the faithful teaching of His inerrant Word, His magnificent creation, and His great salvation. HMM

First Movement—In Minor

How happy is the man who does not follow the advice of the wicked, or take the path of sinners, or join a group of mockers! (Psalm 1 ν. 1).

Deep inside I long to be happy. At the core of my being, I crave fulfillment, meaning, and significance. The mind-set I choose and the lifestyle I live can only partly satisfy these longings.

To get a clear picture of happiness, I need to come to grips with what sort of behavior brings unhappiness. Taking advice from the ungodly, hanging around with sinners, and socializing with scoffers will sap my life of meaning and joy.

The people close to me—arrangers, composers, vocalists, and instrumentalists—strongly influence me. They have a subtle yet pervasive effect on my life. How easy it would be for me to impress them with my gifts and abilities in an attempt to make it big in records, films, or television, I don’t want to compromise my commitment to Christian music; but if I’m not careful, I will walk, then stand, and ultimately sit with people who couldn’t care less about God.

If I choose friends from a secular environment, my personal values will gradually change, the song of my life will shift to a minor key, and I’ll lose a deep sense of personal joy. I need to keep my motives pure in my professional dealings ; I don’t want to become a clone of someone I admire.

Personal Prayer

Lord, help me not to he brainwashed by materialistic society, but give me a deep sense of personal joy in knowing You.

A Contemporary Psalm

Appreciation for Music

by Joseph T. Bayly

Thank You for music Lord

Handel and Haydn Society

and Boston Symphony

present Handels Messiah

He shall feed His flock

like a shepherd

shall gather the lambs with His arm

and carry them in His bosom.

Students on Fairview Island singing

Who is on the Lord’s side

who will serve the King?

Mother holding little boy rocking

humming

All through the night

my Savior will be watching

and Like a river glorious

is God’s perfect peace.

Little group of people

before an open grave singing

My Jesus I love Thee

and up from the grave He arose.

From Psalms of My Life © 1987. Used by permission of David C. Cook Publishing Company.
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The Primary Focus

In the beginning God.—Genesis 1:1

We focus on what is without doubt the most noble and loftiest of themes: the nature and character of God. I have noticed that Christians, generally speaking, seem to be preoccupied with knowing more about themselves rather than knowing more about God. Ask any Christian bookshop manager: “What are the best-selling books?” Not those that unfold for us the nature of God, but those that direct us toward such things as how to get a better self-image, how to manage money, how to find inner healing, how to get more excitement out of life, and so on. Not that these subjects are unimportant, but they are explored in a self-absorbed way that gives the idea that the most important thing in life is knowing ourselves better. It isn’t. The most important thing in life is knowing God better.

John Lancaster, a minister in Cardiff, South Wales, in an article entitled “Where on Earth Is God?” asks the question: “Given a choice between attending a seminar, say, on the ‘Glory of God in Isaiah’ and one on ‘The Christian and Sex,’ to which would you go?” He makes the point also that although the church often answers the questions that people are asking, the real problem may be that people are not asking the right questions. In today’s church we are far too man-centered and not God-centered.

It is not by accident, I believe, that the Bible opens with the thunderous acclaim: “In the beginning God.” I tell you with all the conviction of which I am capable: if God is not our primary focus, then everything else will soon get out of focus.

Prayer

O Father, from this day help me determine to make You my primary focus. And give me the grace and strength to maintain it, through all the fluctuations and uncertainties of the days ahead. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

Further Study

Jn 1:1-5; Col 1:15-20; Heb 12:2; Rv 1:8

What did the Lord declare to John the revelator?

What did the apostle John declare?

A Salvation People

Hebrews 2:3

We are a salvation people. This is our specialty—getting saved and keeping saved, and then getting somebody else saved, and then getting saved ourselves more and more, until full salvation on earth makes the heaven within, which is finally perfected by the full salvation without, on the other side of the river.

We believe in salvation! We believe in old-fashioned salvation. Ours is the same salvation taught in the Bible, proclaimed by prophets and apostles, preached by Luther, Wesley and Whitfield, sealed by the blood of martyrs—the very same salvation which was purchased by the sufferings and agony and blood of the Son of God.

We believe the world needs it, that this and this alone will set it right. We want no other nostrum, nothing new. We are on the track of the old apostles’ salvation. The worst man that ever walked will go to heaven if he obtains it, and the best man that ever lived will go to hell if he misses it.

There is a hell. A hell as dark and terrible as is the description given of it by the lips of Jesus Christ, the truthful. And into that hell men are departing hour by hour.

Perhaps the most appalling aspect of this hell is its bondage. How devils and devilish habits rule it, and with what an iron yoke. Can these captives be delivered? Saved from sinning, saved into holy living and triumphal dying?

Ask the Salvationist and the answer will be, from both theory and experience, that the vilest and worst can be saved to the uttermost, for all things are possible to him who believes. Our redeemer is mighty to save.

We have salvation. We need it and we have it. There are think-so Christians, and there are hope-so Christians, and there are know-so Christians. Thank God we belong to the know-so people. We know we are saved. We know in whom we have believed, and the Spirit answers to our faith, and testifies in our hearts that we are the children of God.

Our work is salvation. Soul-saving is our avocation, the great purpose and business of our lives.

What is the business of your life? Not merely to save your soul and make yourself ready for paradise. Rescue the perishing. They are all around you. You are to be a copy of Jesus Christ. So consecrate every awakened power to the great end of saving others.

“How shall we escape if we ignore such a great salvation?” (Hebrews 2:3).

William Booth, Salvation Soldiery