For part of our Christmas gift to each other this year, my wife and I chose to renew our front yard landscaping. It was time. Our grass was very old and ingrown. My little palm trees that we planted when we first moved in were now encroaching on our entry way and roof. Many of our shrubs had surpassed their shelf life and we wanted something a bit more design orientated, something that would complement the look of our house. It was time for something new. So we acquired some help from an expert, created a plan and now our front landscaping is being renewed!
Renewal, restoration, revitalization, and renovation are good things, and it just so happens God has built into life a season of renewal and a time for something new into each year! In just a few days we will be experiencing that time as we make the annual transition from one year to another. It is a time to look back, appreciating the past year, and to look forward to making changes for the future. It’s time for something new.
Now sure, some changes will just happen: we get older, most things cost more, the seasons change, and our sports teams will experience both victories and defeats. Some change just happens, out of our control. However, there are many areas of life, like my front yard, where if we want renewal or revitalization, it is going to take some purposed action to experience something new. The truth is, for many areas of life, unless we initiate change, things will basically stay the same. So in what areas of your life are you saying it’s time for something new: maybe with your health (I know I could loose a few more pounds and eat a bit better…but I really like donuts!! Oh, I had this amazing apple-fritter the other day…sorry got a bit carried away), but maybe this next year your something new could be a new hobby, a new friend, deeper relationships, a new vacation place, reading a few new books, trying some new restaurants, cooking some new foods, trying that new donut, finding a new creative expression. What new something are you thinking of?
Here are four questions and some Bible verses that help me move forward as I seek the fun of this New Year and the opportunity to do something new.
What do I appreciate about last year?
James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.
1 Chronicles 16:11-12 Seek the Lord and His strength; seek His presence continually! Remember the wondrous works that He has done, His miracles and the judgments He uttered,
Lamentations 3:22-23 The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.
What am I looking forward to this next year?
Isaiah 43:18-19 Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.
Philippians 3:13-14 Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
What am I worried about?
1 Peter 5:7 Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.
Hebrews 13:6 So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?”
Philippians 4:6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
What is the plan to accomplish the new you want to do?
Proverbs 13:16 Every prudent man acts with knowledge, but a fool flaunts his folly.
Luke 14:28 For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it?
Church can be a place to help in our renewal. If you do not already have a church where you attend, we would like to invite you to Cypress Church or any of our branch churches. Our website has all the information you would need www.cypresschurch.net.
Seeking to accomplish something new along with you, Mike