I stayed up last night to welcome in the New Year through watching the infamous “ball drop” from Times Square. I usually stay up on New Year’s Eve until midnight on the east cost, but this year we were on the east coast. Today is a good day for college football. Currently, I am enjoying watching the Rose Bowl with Colorado’s own Christian McCaffrey.
BIBLE VERSE FOR TODAY… “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” Genesis 1:1 HCSB
A New Year for many represents a new start, a new beginning. This is often symbolized by the proverbial “New Year’s Resolution” that shows the goals or commitments for life to be different.
The Bible is a book of beginnings and new beginnings. Genesis, Ezra and Matthew symbolize three of those beginnings. In Genesis, we find the creation of the heavens and earth, we find in Ezra the restoration of God’s people to the holy land after 70 years of captivity and in Matthew we find the birth of Jesus the beginning of the gospels and the culmination of and fulfillment of all the Old Testament had symbolized.
In each of these we see some important concepts that provide ongoing encouragement for our lives.
In Genesis we see God creating something out of nothing. As the creator God, He is able to bring into existence that which has never been before. That means with God all things are possible. He bring something out of nothing. He brings life out of death, He speaks and it comes to be. In creation it took place as “the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters.” (Gen. 1:2)
When God’s Spirit invades the darkness and emptiness of our life, something happens. As you begin this New Year perhaps the Lord needs to do something entirely new for you and in your life. Trust Him for that. We can “ask big” of the Lord. Psalm 2 we read, “Ask of Me,and I will make the nations Your inheritance and the ends of the earth Your possession.” (Psa. 2:8 HCSB) That is a big ask! God invites us to “ask big.”
In Ezra we see God is able to restore. Ezra begins, “This is what King Cyrus of Persia says: ‘The Lord, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth and has appointed me to build Him a house at Jerusalem in Judah.'” (Ezra 1:2 HCSB) When it comes to God’s restoration we often look for regaining that which was. However, when it comes to the Temple the Lord says through the prophet Haggai, “The glory of this present house will be greater than the glory of the former house,’ says the LORD Almighty. ‘And in this place I will grant peace,’ declares the LORD Almighty.” (Haggai 2:9 NIV)
What the Lord restores, He improves. Often our possibilities are limited to what we have seen the Lord do or have experienced in the past. The Lord is not only able to restore that which has been tarnished, lost or is found in ruin, He is able to make it far better than what we have known in the past.
In the gospels we see the Lord accomplishes His purpose. The coming of Jesus and His death and resurrection is all in according to God’s plan. It is first referenced at the time of the fall of man, it is established with the call of Abraham, it is seen in the exodus and the occupying of the promised land. The work of the Messiah is prophesied in the Old Testament and the story unfolds in the “New Testament.”
The result is a “people of God” who are destined to experience life with Him now and for eternity. We can be confident that God accomplishes His purposes. He is doing that in the history and events of the world and He is able to do that in our lives. The Lord will bring to pass what He has promised and He will finish what He has started in our lives.
“…being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 1:6 NIV)
As you begin this New Year, trust the Lord to do in you what is needed. It may be creating, it may be restoring, it may be fulfilling that which is needed in your life. Resolve to trust the Lord to work in your life as “His Spirit hovers” over and works in you.