You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.”  Luke 12:40

We are starting a brand new year. If this year is to be better than the last, then there are some things that we need to leave behind from 2017. 

Let us get rid of all bitterness and resentment that we may be carrying from any prior year or years.  

Dragging around past hurts and wounds will only burden us and slow us down, they hinder our ability to enjoy the gift of life we have been given. The Bible says, “The godless in heart harbor resentment” (Job 36:13)  and  “resentment kills a fool”  (Job 5:2) so we want to ditch and discard any antagonism or animosity toward anyone so that we may begin the new year unhindered by the past. 

If we are to find greater joy in 2018, we must walk away from all guilt and shame that may have been a part of our life in the past year.  We cannot undo what we have done, but by confessing our sins and trusting the promise of God we can have a fresh start. 

The Bible says, “the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin” (1John 1:7)   

It does not matter what we have done, the grace of God is sufficient to cover all our wrong-doing. We can live each day of the New Year forgiven and clean. We cannot wipe ourmemory clean, but our heart can be cleansed by Christ.  

For 2018 to be a good year, we must leave behind the sins and disappointments of yesterday, and learn from God’s Word how to live each day in obedience to Christ.   

Jesus taught us that He will return at a day and a time when we do not expect Him. Take a few moments and consider what you would do differently if you truly believed that Jesus would return today.  Perhaps we would take more seriously the words of Jesus when He said,  “Do to others as you would have them do to you.” (Luke 6:31)  Just putting into practice this simple command on a daily basis in your attitudes and actions could make 2018 a banner year. 

Jesus also taught us,  “love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great,” (Luke 6:35)  When we love our enemies we have greater peace and rest. 

The Apostle Paul also gives practical advice that will benefit us throughout the New Year.  He said,  “In your anger do not sin. Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry,  and do not give the devil a foothold.”   (Ephesians 4:26-27).   And again,  “Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, ….. because you know that the Lord will reward everyone for whatever good he does,” -not carrying any anger and storing up treasures in heaven would definitely make 2018 better.   

William Barclay said, “The best way to prepare for the coming of Christ is never to forget the presence of Christ.”    

Give careful thought to your ways as you walk with Christ this year.

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