Exhortations for the New Year 2020
The dawn of a new year - and a new decade - is always a good time for Christians to reflect on why we are here, who God has called us to be, and how we can express our love for Him. It begins with remembering the great love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be adopted into His eternal family and called children of God (1 John 3:1). We will always be debtors to God's amazing grace, having been redeemed by the precious blood of our glorious Savior to enjoy every spiritual blessing in Him.
May our hearts be filled with gratitude and thanksgiving for all the Lord Jesus Christ has done to save us completely and forever!
He called us out of darkness into His marvelous light, so we could proclaim the excellencies of God's perfect man and man's perfect God (1 Pet. 2:9). Following are several exhortations from God's Word that will help us faithfully serve our great God and Savior in the new year.
Do all things for the glory of God (1 Cor. 10:31).
Glorifying God is the supreme purpose for our existence in this life and throughout all eternity. We can bring praise and honor to God by declaring His glorious character and attributes, His sovereign and sustaining power over His majestic creation, and His infinite wisdom in orchestrating a plan to save sinners from the inflexible demands of His righteous justice. As we keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, we will be motivated to bring glory, honor and praise to His name (Heb. 12:2).
Abide in God's Word (John 8:31-32).
In doing so, we will prove to be disciples of Jesus Christ, and we will experience the transforming power of His Word (Rom. 12:2). As we abide in God's Word, may we be enlightened to the hope of His calling and the surpassing greatness of His power (Eph. 1:18). Since all Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, we need God's Word to know His will and to discern truth from error (2 Tim. 3:16). The reading, study, memorization, and meditation of Scripture will help us grow in our knowledge and love for God and to live lives pleasing to Him.
Pray without ceasing (1 Thes. 5:17).
Paul exhorts us to be devoted to prayer with an attitude of thanksgiving (Col. 4:2). When we pray, we are demonstrating our utter dependence upon our Sovereign Lord while acknowledging His power and ability to answer our prayers. Praying also gives us the opportunity to commune with our Father and express our love and adoration for who He is and how He continues to bless us. It is good to have a prayer journal that includes not only our requests, but also how God has answered them.
Be faithful to the Great Commission (Mat. 28:18-20).
The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few (Luke 10:2). May our love for God motivate us to be useful and effective witnesses for Christ and His Gospel. Evangelism is a discipline that can be motivated by a growing love and compassion for those who are perishing. Let us always be ready to give a reason for the hope that we have in Christ (1 Pet. 3:15). May we never neglect an opportunity to be witnesses for Christ, so that people can know the only way of forgiveness and receive the gift of eternal life.
Contend earnestly for the faith (Jude 3).
In these days of growing deception, including many distortions of the Gospel, we need to put on the armor of God and fight the good fight of faith (Eph. 6:13, 1 Tim. 6:12). We must remain sanctified by the truth and contend against the growing ecumenical movement that seeks to unite all professing Christians under the papacy. There is much at stake if we do not take a stand for the truth of God's Word, including the glory and honor of our Savior, the sanctity of His church, and the exclusivity of His Gospel.
As we begin this new year, let us use the spiritual gifts we have received to serve others as faithful stewards of God's grace. When we speak, let us do so as one who speaks the very words of God. When we serve, let us do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever (1 Peter 4:10-11).