It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
Today is finally the last day of 2020. Tomorrow is the first day of the new year, it’s a chance for a new beginning. Put the past behind you and start this new year with your focus on God. He loves you, He is merciful and His compassion never fails. Our current circumstances may be overwhelming and our bodies may fail us but our soul will not be crushed as long as we have faith, hope and love. Trust in the Lord with all your heart and see that He is good. I pray that the new year will bring you closer to God than ever before. May the LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD turn his face toward you and give you peace. (Numbers 6:24-26)
But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
This is the time of year when we start thinking about our New Year’s resolutions. We decide to make changes and declare goals that will help to improve our lives. The year 2020 did not go as planned for almost everyone. So much has happened this year, so many lives lost, so much pain and suffering. Yet, if we believe in God, we have hope for a better year in 2021. The Bible tells us that that if we seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness, He will take care of all our needs. Your main focus for 2021 should be to have a closer relationship with the Lord, studying His Word and living according to His will. Set your mind on things above and let your thoughts and goals be focused on Christ and your future home, heaven. As you contemplate your New Year’s resolutions be mindful to include goals that allow you to put God first in your life. Set goals that bring you closer to God daily and long-term. You can reach your goals when you make specific plans and stick to them.
But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
As the year 2020 comes to a close we can thank God for seeing us through another year. It was a year unlike any we may have ever been through. There was so much happening from the coronavirus to social unrest and even a contentious election. Many people lost their lives, others lost their jobs and almost everyone was quarantined and isolated from the people they love. The new year will soon be here and it’s the perfect time for new beginnings and new possibilities. It’s the perfect time to look toward the future and to hope for better days. Whatever you may currently be going through rely on God and put your hope in Him to give you strength and fortitude. Trust in the Lord to renew and refresh your spirit. Don’t forget, you are more than conquerors through Christ who loves you and each new day brings new beginnings, new opportunities and new possibilities.
You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
A new year is the perfect time to start over. It’s a time of new beginnings, second, third, even ninety-ninth chances. It’s okay to start over, we serve a God of new beginnings. None of us are perfect but as long as you don’t completely give up, God will work with what you have right where you are. When you seek the Lord with a sincere heart you will find Him. God hears your prayers and knows your heart. God promises that if you humble yourself, pray, seek His face and turn from your sinful ways He will hear you. Make God a priority in the coming year by making time to read His Word and spending time with Him in prayer. God loves you and wants to have a personal relationship with you but it’s up to you to seek Him.
Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.”
If you really love Jesus, obey His teachings and His commands. Saying you love Him is easy, anyone can say they love Jesus, proving you do is another matter. When you understand and appreciate what Jesus did for you at the cross it changes you, you’re no longer the same. Having a real relationship with your Lord and Savior becomes a lifestyle not just a Sunday event. True love and gratitude responds in obedience, dedication and with passion. Open your heart to God and invite Him into every part of your life and into everything you do.
Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
There’s nothing wrong with having nice things. The problem is idolizing material things over treasuring what we have in Christ. It’s more important to focus on eternal things which are more valuable than anything here on earth that is only temporary. Start thinking about ways to use your money, gifts and talents for God’s purpose and make it a priority in the coming year.
1In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2(This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3And everyone went to their own town to register.
4So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.
8And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
13Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
15When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”
16So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.
For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
The star was shining brightly in the City of David on the night the Savior was born. God sent His only Son to offer the grace of the gospel, eternal life and salvation, that the world through Him might be saved. The birth of Christ, the Messiah, was proclaimed by angels to the shepherds who went to Bethlehem and found Mary, Joseph and the baby Jesus lying in the manger. This Christmas Eve, reflect on and share what it means to you to have been given the greatest gift ever, Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.
Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David, in order to register along with Mary, who was engaged to him, and was with child. While they were there, the days were completed for her to give birth.
The birth of Jesus in Bethlehem is the fulfillment of the prophecy found in Micah 5:2. “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.” Bethlehem was a small city in Judah near Jerusalem. King David had been born in Bethlehem and Jesus, who came from the lineage of King David and whose family line goes all the way back to Adam, was also born there. Jesus is referred to as the King of the Jews from the beginning of His life to the end and it is no coincidence that Bethlehem’s literal meaning is “The House of Bread” because Jesus is the “Bread of Life”. You see, none of this was an accident or a coincidence. Every detail about the birth of Jesus, including being born in Bethlehem, was all part of God’s divine plan for our salvation.
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men
God’s good will in sending the Messiah brought peace into the world. The plan of redemption brings glory and praise to God in that He gave His only Son. Jesus, the Prince of Peace came to reconcile the world to God by His atonement for our sins. The gift of the Savior is an expression of God’s good will, love and mercy towards all men who will receive it. What a sight to behold it must have been to see the angels praising God. We have the hope that one day we too will be praising God with a multitude of heavenly hosts. Until that glorious day, this Christmas and all year around let the peace of Christ fill your heart with good will toward all.