Ephesians 2:8, 10 For by grace you have been saved through faith and that not of yourselves; it is a gift from God… for we are God’s own workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
God has great things prepared for you in 2024. As we begin the new year, it is important to seek God’s vision for this time in our life. So, with our faith in Him and His Word, we know that we will walk in His will and do the good works that He has set before us.
A fresh start
One of the things I love about the New Year is that it feels like a fresh start. It’s like the end of one chapter and the beginning of the next one. A new year doesn’t always start with a new season in our lives. But it’s a chance to review our progress and renew our focus for the year ahead.
I wish that life was laid out as plainly as a good book. We get to see the title and the chapter names. I like to know how long it is. Some people even peek at the ending before they finish the book. It seems to me God’s way is the opposite of this.
Looking through the rearview mirror
We don’t get to see the name of the book of our life. Nor do we know how many pages our story will cover. It occurred to me that maybe He’s saving me from the errors of “My plan.” I think He’s preparing me for His plan which includes my faith, obedience and cooperation, to accomplish His eternal purpose.
However, as I look back at my life I can see chapters and seasons. I can see themes, and God’s hand at work guiding me, healing me, providing for me and my family. I see His protection, and I even see the beauty for ashes. Things are much clearer in the rearview mirror.
Hope for the future
This gives me great hope for this year and the future. Because I know that the same God who turned a negative into a positive is still at work in me and my life- as well as yours. What a privilege it is to be writing this story with Him. As He guides and I follow, I get to reap the benefits of His hand smoothing out the rough places. And I’m sure He is also providing in countless other ways.
Indeed we have seen His hand at work in the past. It is awesome to know that we were selected and set apart for a work God ordained for us from the foundation of the world. It should make us feel special that the Word tells us He chose us.
Jesus said, “No man can come to me except the Father draws him.” We should be so grateful that the Spirit of the Lord tugged at our spirits, and we answered the call of our eternal Father. We are chosen and ordained for a work that will echo throughout all eternity. God has great plans for you!
How many people will thank God for you?
Given that, remember, we were never chosen to bear fruit for ourselves. The fruits of our labor is for others to reap. Our mission is to help each other return home. How many people will you help get home this year?
Look with wonder at what God has set before you this year. Divine appointments and connections are set for you. The very people who need your fruit will come into your life. And it can forever change theirs. The best part is sometimes we know this is happening, but often we do not. We might be unaware of exactly how it happens. But what truly fills us up and satisfies our deepest need is helping others and being a blessing.
With this in mind, remember one act of kindness, word of encouragement, or prayer has the power to make an eternal difference in the lives of others. As you follow the leading of the Holy Spirit, how many people will you inspire?
Can you feel God’s purpose calling you forward?
So we look for Emmanuel, God with us. No matter what the circumstances, the trials, the unknown we are facing, we can rest assured that God has already been here. Isaiah 42:16 says, I will bring the blind by a way they did not know; I will lead them in paths they have not known. I will make darkness light before them, and crooked places straight. These things I will do for them, and not forsake them.
Look how tenderly the Father cares for us. He goes before us (Isaiah 42:16), and behind us (Isaiah 52:12) and surrounds us (Psalm 5:12) and upholds us with His righteous right hand.
Let’s go into this new year rejoicing at what God has planned for us.(Isaiah 41:12). God has you covered. He’s got great plans for you. That means our job is to trust Him and take Him at His Word. Can you feel Him calling you forward?
For inspiration and direction, check out Living With Purpose; Discovering Your God Given Potential, a devotional by Myles Munroe. Follow this link.