One Year Ends and a New Year BeginsDecember 31, 2017
…forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto the things which are before….
— Philippians 3:13
Well, today one year is closing, and another year is about to begin. Is your year ending the way you prayed it would? Or do you need to make alterations in your heart quickly to get back on track with what God wants to do in your life so you can start the next year right?
Many times as I’ve come close to the end of a calendar year, I’ve wondered if I was going to accomplish everything I sensed the Lord instructing me to do in that year. But if it’s too late to do what you should have done this year, it’s time for you to forget those things that are behind and to reach forth unto the things that are before you (see Philippians 3:13). The word “forget” in this verse is the Greek word epilanthanomai, which depicts something that is done with, accomplished, and no longer an issue before you. The word “behind” is the word opiso, which describes something that no longer has relevance in your life. It is old, antiquated, outdated, and no long applicable.
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Rather than focus on things of the past that no longer have relevance in your life, it’s time for you to “reach forth” unto those things that are before you. The words “reach forth” are translated from the Greek word epikteinomai, and it pictures a runner in a race — running with every ounce of strength he can muster to get around that final bend in the stadium one last time and finish as the winner! His whole body and eyes are fastened on that goal as he leans forward and runs with all his might to break through that finish line.
Today is your last day to make wrongs right and to do things that you know you ought to do. This year is closing in a mere matter of minutes or hours. But before you is a glorious new beginning! The Holy Spirit wants to divinely energize you to run your race in the new year with your eyes and your whole being fixed on the goal. It may be challenging, but if you’ll surrender to the Holy Spirit’s control, He’ll take you where you never could have gone by yourself!
When you lay your head on your pillow tonight and say farewell to this year, make sure that you also welcome the new year with faith, confidence, and commitment that in this new year you will accomplish every dream, goal, and desire that God has put in your heart to accomplish over the next 12 months!
MY PRAYER FOR TODAY
Heavenly Father, this has been an awesome year in which You have taught me so much. My heart is overflowing with thankfulness for every challenge You’ve helped me overcome and for every lesson You’ve taught me that has helped mold me more to the image of Jesus Christ. I am simply filled with gratitude that You have done so much in my heart during this year — and I believe that the next year will be even richer and fuller than the one I am presently completing. As I reach the finish line of this year, I forget what is behind me, and I reach for what is ahead. For all of this, I give You thanks!
I pray this in Jesus’ name!
MY CONFESSION FOR TODAY
I boldly declare that the year before me will be the best year I’ve ever known in my life thus far. The Holy Spirit is energizing me — and He will help me run my race better than I’ve ever run it before. I say no distractions or obstacles will stop me — and that I will run until I reach the finish line! Jesus has already laid out the race before me — I only need to jump up, give it my best shot with the Spirit’s power, and finish everything God wants me to achieve in this new year!
I declare this by faith in Jesus’ name!
QUESTIONS FOR YOU TO CONSIDER
- Is it too late — have you run out of time to do what you were supposed to do? What could you have done differently to produce a more fruitful outcome? Write down what you should have done and what you could have done better to achieve your goals and dreams. Then repent and forget the guilt of it. The past is over, irrelevant, and no longer an issue before you. Ask the Lord to help you accomplish old responsibilities in a new way by the grace and mercy that are freshly available to you today!
- Before you is a glorious new beginning! Have you consulted the Holy Spirit to find out what He wants you to know about the race set before you in the new year? If you make the decision now to yield to the Holy Spirit’s direction at every turn, He will take you where you never could have gone by yourself!
- Have you written down the ways you want to use your faith to be a bigger blessing to the Kingdom of God in the coming year? In what way can you better serve your pastor and your church? What are the steps you need to take to be a stronger spiritual influence for God in the lives of your family and friends? What do you need to do to be a brighter light and better representative of Christ to the lost? When you lay your head on your pillow tonight, say farewell to this year, and welcome the new year with faith, confidence, and a commitment to glorify God as never before.