The Best Way to Start the New Year

Photo by Matt Hoffman on Unsplash

Here we are again, on New Year’s Eve, contemplating the challenges that 2022 brought and looking ahead to the new opportunities the New Year will bring. We have been here before. We have made promises and resolutions before, but days and weeks into the new year, those promises, and resolutions are long forgotten, and we go back to our old ways of living our lives.

Perhaps you are tired of doing that, and you gave up on making promises and resolutions for the new year. Perhaps you want to try to do something different. Let me tell you that there is a “better way” to start your new year, and that is starting your new year with God!

Jesus tells us in the book of Matthew “to seek first the kingdom of God and His justice.” Here are three things that will help you start your new year with God.

Read the Bible

The only way you can know what God desires for your life, and the only way to know the heart of God is by reading Scriptures. The Bible is the Word of God, that is how He speaks to us and there is no other way. I get it, God may not tell you which college to go to, or which career to follow, but He will tell you that no matter where you are He is there with you . . . and that gives us hope and trust in Him. The more you read/hear His Word, the more you get to know God and grow in a closer relationship with Him.

It’s ok if you are not good at reading. There are audio and video messages that you can listen to. The point is that you listen/read God’s Word. Here are some resources that you can listen to.

Prayer

God speaks to us through His Word, and we speak to Him through prayer. Prayer is conversing with God. When you talk to a friend or a relative, you are honest and truthful about what happens to you. Prayer should be the same. Be honest and truthful with God and let Him know what’s bothering you, what concerns you and your worries. The truth is that God knows everything, but He wants you to talk to Him as a child speaks to his father.

Be part of a Christian Community

I know many people that say they are Christian, but they don’t go to church. Sometimes it is because God didn’t answer a particular prayer and they are disillusioned with God. Other times it is because someone in the church hurt them and they are upset with God because of that. Others are looking for the perfect church. Let me tell you that there is no perfect church on this side of eternity. God created us to be in community, we cannot do life on our own. Jesus instituted the church so that the church can continue His work here on earth, which is to make other disciples, to worship him and to let the world know about the great love God has for them.  

I ask for forgiveness on behalf of those who hurt you in the church, but in the end that is not an excuse to not go to church. Find a church where the Gospel is preached – meaning they preach that Jesus took your place on the cross so that you would not be condemned but have forgiveness of sins and life with Him. Find a church that will encourage you in your walk with God. Find a church that will pray for you.

If you are in NJ, join our church. We are not perfect, but with God’s help we try to do better each day. We worship every Sunday at Somerset Hills Lutheran Church, 350 Lake Road, Basking Ridge at 9:30 am. If you are interested in our Bilingual/Spanish speaking congregation, join us every Friday at Camino de Fe Lutheran Church, 15 W. Somerset Street, Raritan at 7:30 pm.

I hope and pray that this is a good year for you. There will be challenges and struggles, there is no doubt about that. There will be ups and downs, breakups and heartaches. So far you have done life on your own. If that is the case, try life with the One who created you. Jesus loves you and wants to have a relationship with you!

Friends, “seek first the kingdom of God and His justice.” Happy New Year 2023.


More about Pastor Dan

Click Here to read Pastor Dan’s Bio

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