The Father has opened my heart to think of this new year as the newest year, one that will surpass all others. Each year of my life has brought new revelation, new truths, new vision, new purpose. Each year has brought me closer and closer to Him. With time, aging, experience, and trials we can witness that He keeps His covenant and fulfills His promises. So why should we not come to this year with even more expectation, with a great and joyful anticipation?
All my life I seem to have been motivated by new beginnings, though they come with mixed blessings. For every new beginning there has to be an ending, which means we leave something behind or lose something. We may have to let something, or someone, go. We may have to start over completely. Years ago there came the realization that endings are like deaths. Some are good endings that we have looked forward to. Others may be accompanied with grief, which may take time to get over. But in the process is the preparation for the future that our Father has for us, and for things that He has prepared for us. We are not speaking of the future as a reference to an after-death experience in heaven. What we refer to is for here and now, a taste of heaven here on earth, and preparation for glory. Every year, every trial, every ending, every death, every beginning brings us more of His blessings, and the heavenly gifts He waits to give.
New Heart ~ New Birth
To experience the newest we have to set aside the old. With the new birth we start over. With the new heart our desires change. The things that we lusted for, even things that seemed good are easily left behind for something better. With the new spirit we look forward to new experiences that the Father has planned for us. The child-like faith gives us hope for further fulfillment of His promises, and we rest in believing that He will show us great and mighty things we have not known. (Jeremiah 33:3) The child-like spirit delights in the unexpected. We are not satisfied to live the same year again, but in anticipation that all things will be fresh and new from Him every day, and every year that we are here. These new things are never lost, but added to year after year, with even greater anticipation.
We can expect the continued power of the Holy Spirit to guide us into and through the year, moment by moment, day by day, week by week, month by month until the ending of this year, unless He has chosen to bring us to glory ( Psalm 73:24; Colossians 3:4) before then. We anticipate further sanctification, cleansing and purifying of the heart and the hands, transforming by the renewing of the mind (Romans 12:1-2) and conforming us to the image of His Son. (Romans 8:29)
“He hath made with me an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things, and sure;
for this is all my salvation, and all my desire.”
2 Samuel 23:5
We look forward to His instructions, to His order of the things with which we are still unfamiliar, but that He promises to reveal to us. (Deuteronomy 29:29; John 16:13; 1 Corinthians 2:10)
On this first day of 2008 the question is asked, “Am I willing to give up my own ideas, the desires of my own heart, and seek, with diligence, the kingdom of God and His righteousness?” (Matthew 6:33) The Father has promised us an abundant life in His Son. (John 10:10) The newest and the best are given only in Christ. All beginnings are of His grace—not a cheap grace, but one secured for us by the Father and the Son through the sacrifice of His life, a covenant of grace made for us before time began. (2 Timothy 1:9)
“He must increase, but I must decrease.” John 3:30
We enter this newest year with an open calendar and the prayer, “Lord, fill it with your plans for me—for your glory, and for my joy and the joy of others. Let there be less of me and more of you.” And this same prayer we ask for all His people, for the building of His church and His kingdom. “Fill our hearts and prayers with more love for you and others, more praise, more gratitude, more of your grace. Let there be new springs, new fountains, new rivers of living water flowing in hearts, families, and churches.”
“Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now. This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him.” John 2:10-11
At the marriage feast at Cana Jesus turned water into wine. Much of what we have seems good until we, in the times of our seasoning, come to what the Father has for us. It is but as water, or only a good wine, compared to the better. We can afford to wait for the best that the Father has planned for us. “The heirs can afford to wait.” (Andrew Murray) He has promised a heavenly life for His people who live in anticipation of the spiritual things from His heart and kingdom. (Ephesians 1:3) He has promised new wine in new wine skins. He keeps filling our hearts with His Word, His promises, His Spirit, His power (Ephesians 3:20; Colossians 21:27,29) and excitement that spills over into each year. Still, the newest year and the best wine are yet to come, in Glory with Him.
“He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all,
how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?”
Keeping our eyes on Christ we live in daily anticipation of the filling of His Spirit, and the bread from heaven, the Spirit of the life of Christ given to us by a loving heavenly Father, and we pray, “Our Father, which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name, Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:9-13; Revelation 4) Before anything else we desire the honor of His name, the coming of His kingdom in our hearts, and His will to be done in our lives, as it is in heaven. If these requests are fulfilled we can know that the others will be also. The rest of the Lord’s Prayer is a petition for our needs based on our faith in what He promised and is able to do—for His glory and our joy.
“But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.
Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God,
unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ:”
(Fran 1/1/08 Article from 50 Days of Prayer and Praise ~ Articles and Stories of Faith) Join us for our daily devotional agoldentreasury.com.