Ron Witbeck: Starting the new year with more than a ball drop

By Ron Witbeck

Associate Pastor, Resurrection Life Church

It is amazing how many people we see crowded into Time Square, New York, on New Year’s Eve even in the bitter cold of this record-setting winter’s blast. The excitement causes some to arrive early in the morning, just to ensure the best locations, in order to witness the ball dropping and welcome in 2018.

They wait for the promises this New Year would bring to them. They hope the New Year resolutions they have made and committed to will give them everlasting joy. But we all know the likelihood of that happening for most is a fantasy played out in their minds. This has happened to most of us.

We can agree 2017 was full of disappointments, disasters that were seen all over the world and even those closer to home here in our country. There is unrest, fear and the losses to many of our own due to the changing weather patterns.

You may ask how can we survive the unrest that surrounds us. All we need to do is to put God back where He belongs! Look no further than our Pledge of Allegiance, where we say we are “One nation under God.” After all, this nation was founded on Godly principles.

Just maybe, it is time to take the “me, myself and I” out of our culture and follow the Bible and what Jesus told us to do. Matthew 22:37-40:

“Jesus said, ‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.” (NKJV)

If we truly want 2018 to be a bright and fruitful year, let’s begin by giving it to God who loves us! If we find the load too hard for us to bear, then again Jesus tells us again in Matthew 11:28-30:

“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

So, let us humble ourselves turning back to God and give Him the respect and honor that belongs there, while remembering He does love us. Let Him lead us into this new year, watching with excitement what He will do!

Looking again to our Bibles in the Book of Hebrews 4:14-16:

“That is why we have a great High Priest who has gone to heaven, Jesus the Son of God. Let us cling to him and never stop trusting him. This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same temptations we do, yet he did not sin. So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it.” (NLT)

How about as a New Year’s resolution we again let God lead us, then feel the peace and comfort of resting in His Arms.

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