Sunday, December 31, 2023
As we reach the end of this past year, the following words of Jesus on the cross reverberate in my heart: "It is finished!"  Later, the apostle Paul could say a similar thing: "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful."  My year is over, but I have finished everything God wanted me to do? Have I been faithful to honor the Lord in the way I have treated family, friends, and strangers God has brought my way?
My end-of-the-year evaluations can quickly morph into questions about the end of my life; questions of whether I have wisely invested my seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, and months given to me by God? I want to honor God with my time on earth. I want to finish my life's critical tasks faithfully. I want my life to count for God and be a good influence on my loved ones. I deeply desire that those who meet me can see that I love them and want them to know the Jesus that I know.
The reality for us is that this past year is done. There is little we can do to alter or change the things of the past. The point of our passage for us is that we should "press on to possess that perfectionfor which Christ Jesus" possessed us. We can only do that by, "Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead" with a deep-seated commitment "to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize" which God wants us to receive.
So, dear friend in Jesus, let's press on as we keep our eyes on Jesus and pursue in our daily lives. We can let the past instruct us, but we must not let the failures of the past detain us or derail us. The New Year awaits. Let's embrace it and live so that when our years are done, we too can say, "It's finished. I have remained faithful. The heavenly prize is near. Come Lord Jesus!"
Thank you, dear Father, for this past year's good things, the Christlike things. For my errors in judgment, failure in behavior, and sin, I've let nest in my heart, I ask for Your forgiveness of God. Now, dear Father, with the help of the Holy Spirit, I leave these behind and focus on Jesus as I pursue Your transformation in me to become more and more like Him each day. As I enter this New Year, please bless my honorable and holy intentions and defeat those that are selfish and marred by the desires of my sinful flesh. Continue Your work in making a vessel of honor in service to Jesus and a blessing to the people around me. I ask this in the mighty name of Jesus. Amen.
Together in Christ is a daily devotional that focuses on what Scripture teaches about godly living in relationships.
'Together in Christ' is written by Phil Ware.
Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
Archived Facebook Comments