WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
JANUARY 1, 2021
TOPIC: HAPPY NEW YOU!
BY T. O. BANSO
“Happy New Year” is the normal greeting at this season of the year. I’m glad you made it to a new year. Happy New Year! But in reality, every year has the same number of days, weeks, and months except a leap year.
I believe what you need to make a difference in any New Year is a New You. A year won’t be necessarily different from the previous years unless there is a New You. I want you to make a success of this New Year, and that will require a New You. It’s an illusion to think that everything will change for you just because you’re in a new year. The euphoria of the New Year will soon disappear.
This New Year is another opportunity that God has given you. You can change your lifestyle. You can do things in ways different from the ways you did them in the past. You can avoid repeating the mistakes you made in the past. You can succeed where you failed in previous years. Your story at the end of this New Year will largely depend on you, and not the fact that it’s a new year. That you’re in a new year will not automatically bring you into new, positive experiences.
I want to share with you some of the things you must do to create a New You this New Year. If you’re not born again, I invite you to give your life to Jesus by kindly saying this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto you today. I know I’m a sinner and I can’t save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent and confess my sins. I confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour and surrender my life to Him today. I invite Jesus into my heart today. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank you Jesus for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you’ve said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You’ll need to join a Bible-believing, Bible-teaching church in your area where you’ll be taught how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon.
How to create a New You
1.Forget the past. It doesn’t matter what happened or didn’t happen last year. This is a New Year. God is giving you brand new 365 days – you can make your life or mar your life notwithstanding the past. Learn from your past mistakes but don’t become immobilized by the memory of past mistakes (Isaiah 43:19; Philippians 3:13-14). If you’ve sinned, genuinely repent, ask for and receive God’s forgiveness (1 John 1:9-10; Proverbs 28:13; Jeremiah 31:34, Psalm 103:12).
2. Walk with God. Do not think you can truly have a fulfilling New Year without God. There is a vacuum in every human being that only God can fill. All things were created through Him and for Him. He created you for Himself (Colossians 1:16; Romans 11:36). Enoch, Noah, Abraham, and others walked with God (Genesis 5:22, 24; 6:9; 17:1). Emulate them. Start by giving your life to Jesus Christ (John 3:3; Mark 8:36). Obey His Word (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14).
3. Develop your faith. The just shall live by faith – his faith (Romans 1:17b; Galatians 3:11b; Hebrews 10:38; Habakkuk 2:4b). Without faith, it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6).
How do you develop your faith? Romans 10:17 says faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. You must give priority to hearing, reading, confessing, meditating on, and obeying the Word of God this year. When you develop your faith, you’ll no longer walk by sight but by faith (2 Corinthians 5:7).
4. Stop bad habits. Your habits will eventually define you as your habits shape your character. Bad habits will result in bad character. The opposite is also true. Old habits die hard! But know that your habits will determine your future.
Get rid of bad habits, behaviors, or practices such as wasteful spending, keeping a bad company, wasting time, laziness, drunkenness, etc. These will only destroy you. 1 Corinthians15:33 says, “Do not be deceived: ‘Evil company corrupts good habits’” (New King James Version).
5. Focus on your opportunities; don’t concentrate on your opposition. The two always go together. You decide which one secures your attention – the opportunities or opposition (problems). Winners don’t get immobilized by the opposition or obstacles. Paul said a great and effective door of ministry opened to him in Ephesus but there were many adversaries (1 Corinthians 16:9; Ecclesiastes 11:4).
6. Rejoice always. In order to make the most of this New Year, you must learn to rejoice always (Philippians 4:4; Nehemiah 8:10b; Habakkuk 3:17-18; Job 14:7-9). Don’t let any situation steal your joy. Life is not a bed of roses, even roses have thorns. But don’t be discouraged by the thorns; be excited about the roses. “Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!” (Philippians 4:4 New King James Version).
7. Operate Bible-based financial principles. Most problems people face every year, and indeed in life, are money-related. If you’re not financially free, you’re not free! To be free financially this year, you must learn and operate biblical financial principles including making God number one in your finances and being generous towards God and others (Proverbs 3:9-10; Malachi 3:8-10; 2 Corinthians 9:6; Ecclesiastes 11:1; Proverbs 11:24; Ecclesiastes 5:4; Hebrews 13:16; Galatians 6:7; Proverbs 11:24-25; Acts 20:35).
8. Walk in love. As you go in the year, learn to walk in love with others. Choose not to be offended. “It’s harder to make amends with an offended friend than to capture a fortified city” (Proverbs 18:19 New Living Translation). The identity card for every Christian is love. Love is the fulfillment of the law (Romans 13:8-10; Galatians 5:14; Matthew 5:44).
Conclusion: You need a new you to make the most of the New Year. As you act on the word you’ve just read, I pray that this New Year will be your best year ever. May you live a Christ-honouring life and may the New Year take you closer to the realization of God’s purpose for your life.
PRAYER POINTS: Father, I am grateful to You for making me enter the New Year. Thank You for everything You did for me last year. Holy Spirit, I will cooperate with You to create a new me this New Year. I will not sabotage my destiny by leading a life that will not allow the purpose of God for my life to be fulfilled. I will take steps that will make the New Year a really new year for me.
(For over 400 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit: www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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