Today is the first day of the new year. Most of us are wondering what this year’s going to bring, and for many, the New Year’s resolutions are flying. Every year people want to start the new year off right. We see this time as an opportunity to start with a fresh slate. Turning from the bad habits and the like, of the previous year, hoping for something better. Such were my thoughts today when I started my Bible plan for this year and read this verse from Genesis.

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

Genesis 1:1 (NIV)

Our Perspective

Whenever I read the first verse from Genesis, I feel an enormous amount of promise. Although I’ve read through the Bible before and know what’s going to happen, I still feel hope when I read this verse. It’s all about hope, isn’t it? It’s why we look forward to a new year with promises to do things differently this year.

Now, I don’t want to rain on anyone’s parade, but most of us won’t keep those resolutions for very long. I know of some people who make the same resolutions every year and, every year, fail to keep them, but they have hope. They hope this year will be different. I don’t make New Year’s resolutions, but that doesn’t mean I’m impervious to the feeling of hope that arises at this time of the year.

Another idea that likes to hide its head from us, and we do our best to ignore it, is the idea that, if we don’t do it right, this year, today, the first day of this new year, the setting for the year can be ruined. This is why we have the hope to change.

The driving force between the hope to do it better and the lurking despair of doing it wrong is the notion of control. I don’t think we’re wrong to believe how we do things matters. Of course, it does. The only real thing any of us can control is ourselves. However, if we are not saved, and give up our control over our lives to God, then we will lack the self-control to do what needs to be done. Whether it’s losing weight, being on time, or whatever you’ve resolved to do better this year. We can only hold out doing the right thing for so long on our own before we stop and do something else.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

Galatians 5:22-23 (NIV)

Paul reminds us in Galatians that self-control is a fruit of the Spirit. The fruits of the Spirit can come and go in our lives. Depending on how we’re living and who we are living for. If they didn’t wax and wane in us, then we’d always be loving, joy-filled, at peace, patient, etc.

I mentioned how impossible it is for someone who isn’t saved to be able to exercise the self-control to fulfill a New Year’s resolution without failing. I said we need to give up our control over our lives to God. Anyone who isn’t saved can’t do that if they don’t follow God. However, even for those of us who are saved, we still need to give up control to God, else we’re not much better off trying to hold onto self-control than those who are not saved. Jesus said something that can give us insight into what this means. Giving up control to God.

For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.

Matthew 16:25 (NIV)

This is how we can gain self-control is on our lives. We exercise the control we have in choosing to follow God and His will for our lives. This isn’t a choice we make just once and then let it go. No, it’s a constant choice. By making the choice to follow God and do things His way every moment of every day, we get to have a fresh start every day! We aren’t bound by the patterns of behavior from last year or even yesterday when we seek God’s will for us in our lives first.

God’s Perspective

Have you ever thought about God’s perspective on things? God sees everything with an eternal perspective knowing all things. He knows every good and every bad deed. When Adam and Eve were created, God knew what they were going to do before they did it. How did God view His creation despite knowing that Adam and Eve would fall?

God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day.

Genesis 1:31 (NIV)

God saw everything He created as “very good.” God saw everything He created, from beginning to end, and saw that His plan was very good. This means everything that has ever happened or will happen, was seen by God beforehand, and it all works out to His purpose. This boggles my mind. Me, the person who stumbles at the beginning of the new year and thinks, “Well, that’s it for the year. It’s all downhill from here.”

But God. If it weren’t for the perspective He gives me each day, I’d be just like that. Living in the failure of yesterday instead of the promise for right now.

God’s Plan

When I think about God’s plan for everything, I think about what was said about John the Baptist before he was born.

He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth, for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He is never to take wine or other fermented drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even before he is born. He will bring back many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God. And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the parents to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous—to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”

Luke 1:14-17 (NIV)

Before John was born the Lord had a plan for his life and his father, Zechariah, was told what his son would accomplish for the Lord, the people of Israel, and for the world.

Anyone who has ever had a child, or even a puppy, has hope for its life. We think our dreams are big. I expect our parents had big dreams for us too. What I really wonder is what did God have to say about me before I was born? What about you? The only way we can live out the plan God spoke about before we were born is to seek His will for our lives.

Conclusion

Whether you’re hoping this year will be different from last year, or you’re watching the New Year’s parades on television today. Figuring this year will be the year you “just wing it,” God had a plan for you. However, the only way we can do what God set out for us to do is to follow Him. My hope for today is today will be the day when we say Yes to Him and do things His way.

Do you know God? God knows you, and He loves you. He sees you as significant because you are. No one is insignificant to Him. He’s with you today, right now, and He wants you to know Him. Jesus died for your sins and mine so we could be free of guilt, be freed from death, and live eternally with Him. Eternal salvation is just a prayer away.

Pray this prayer with me to accept the gift of salvation today:

Lord Jesus, forgive me for all my sins. I repent from my ways. Wash me in your blood and cleanse me from all unrighteousness. I believe that you died on the cross, were buried, and on the third day, God the Father raised you from the dead. Right now, Lord Jesus, I open the door to my heart, and I receive you into my heart as my Lord and personal Savior. Amen.

If you prayed that prayer, then congratulations! You are on the first step of a brand new life. Allow me to be the first to welcome you to my family, the family of God. There are abundant resources available online for new Christians. You can visit here for more information on what to do next. You can also leave me a comment, and I’ll do my best to help you on the next step of this incredible journey.