It’s hard to believe that just last week it was last year and this week we stand at the beginning of a brand new year. We can’t always know how things are going to turn out in advance or a year from now, but what we do have control over is how we choose to start this year.
So many people are drawn into making New Year’s resolutions for the coming year. Often these resolutions are born out of the need to change something or do things differently, stating that we know that in the past things have not always been done well our correctly.
I would like to encourage you, throw them away now!
The thing about New Year’s resolutions is that we depend on ourselves, in our ability, in our strength, in our planning and deciding what we want and how we want to get it. But the truth folks is our efforts will fail us every time, especially if what we want is not in line with God’s will for us.
In the lectionary readings this week, Paul is exhorting people to repentance. That it is not enough to be baptized by water, which is what John the Baptist was doing, an acknowledgement and repenting of sin and being cleansed symbolically by the water. Paul is saying we need to be baptized with God’s Spirit and allow the Holy Spirit to partner with our spirits. Then we will know God’s heart and perfect will for our lives and choose to live in such way that God will be able to say, “This is my child, in whom I am well pleased.”
God’s love for us knows no end and there is nothing He is incapable of doing. Our God spoke words and brought this world into existence. The Old Testament readings this morning tells us that in the power and authority of His voice He set creation in place, controlled the waters, shook the earth and formed trees. This same voice, that is that powerful, is the same voice that speaks over you and within you.
Whose voice are you going to listen to this year?
The voice of the world which speaks consumerism, sensationalism, complacency and the importance of self – or are you going to listen to the voice of truth, justice and righteousness and surrender your life to God’s voice and His perfect will for your life?
May you always, in all things, know His shalom!