“Hold up my goings in thy paths, that my footsteps slip not.”

Psalm 17:5


As the New Year approaches, we commonly wish people a “Happy New Year!” Some think such wishes are frivolous and should not be spoken. Their overmuch piety makes them sourpusses. Surely, if it is right for us to desire one another’s good (And it is!), it cannot be wrong to express it in a few words of friendly greeting.


Time for Confession


It is proper for us to reflect upon our sins and failures, our wanderings and departings from our God during the year that is gone. But having done so, let us bury the past. As the stroke of the clock at midnight last night buried all the past forever, so let us bury the past. Forgetting those things which are behind, let us each reach out and press forward to those things that are set before us in Christ.


            Give thanks to God for mercies experienced and received; but do not live upon those either. Yesterday’s bread will not sustain your soul today. Let us awake every day given us in the New Year with an intense desire to see, experience, and rejoice in the great mercies of our great God, which are new every morning.


Time for Consecration


This is also a time for consecration. This is the first day of the rest of your life. It matters not what you have done with your life in the past. Today, if you will hear God’ s voice, harden not your heart. Give yourself in unqualified surrender to Jesus Christ the Lord. Oh, may God be pleased this day to bring you to Christ. What a blessed new year this will be for you, if he does!


If God has saved you by his grace, you are not your own. You have been bought with a price, the price of Immanuel’s precious blood. God the Holy Spirit dwells within you. Heaven is your home. Glory is your inheritance. — “I beseech you therefore, by the mercies of God that you present your {body} a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.” What can be more reasonable than for regenerate souls, bought with the precious blood of the Lamb of God, to give themselves in wholehearted devotion to the Lord Jesus Christ, in all things seeking to do his will and glorify his name?


Leave it to superstitious worldlings to make foolish “New Year’s Resolutions.” That is not what I am urging. I am urging all who believe God to walk with God. I am urging all who are born of the Spirit to walk in the Spirit. I am urging all who know Christ to live for Christ. How can we do anything less?


This is my prayer to God today, my prayer for the rest of the days I may have upon this earth: -- “Hold up my goings in thy paths, that my footsteps slip not,” for Christ’s sake, I ask it. God give us grace to live for him, for his glory, for the interests of his kingdom in the days he has appointed for us. If he will grant this, we shall, indeed, have a happy New Year.









Don Fortner



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