Is it really 2018?

Whether you rang in the New Year with splendor and gusto, or simply shared a quiet night at home with family, 2017 is in the past and 2018 is ever present.

Usually, the last week of the year, I like to reflect on who I was in 2017, and how I can make myself better for the Kingdom of God in 2018. As a pastor of a church, I realize the cycle of life in those around me and myself. I can be rejoicing with one person one minute and grieving with another the next. It is simply how life is.

What was your 2017 like and what do you hope your 2018 will be? As we take a moment to reflect and think about 2017, we can’t help but look ahead to 2018. Some of us feel the enthusiasm, hope, and the potential for change in the New Year. We anticipate 2018 to be THE BEST YEAR YET! While others have fear of the New Year and what it could bring in their lives – “Will my marriage make it another year? Will I lose my job? Will I receive bad news about my health? Will this be the year my child really messes up his/her life?”

The mornings are icy cold in Northeast Georgia right now. When I walk to my car in the early morning, I can see my breath in the air before me; my fingers feel tight from the temperature; and the wind chills my body. I can’t help but wish for spring.

But you and I both know, for spring to come, winter has to end. I can’t have both seasons. The fresh green grass and spring flowers could not thrive and grow in this kind of weather. No, in order to start new, something has to end.

In reality, it is more about ending than beginning. We have to let go of the past so we can start fresh. One cannot exist when the other is still around.

How do we let go so that we can start new?

The words “Love Me” enter my heart. When we commit our hearts and lives to God fully, the love we have for Him overshadows the grip of sin and death. When we sell out to God, it is very much like the thawing of the ice upon the ground – new life pushes through, fresh and green.

When God spoke to Moses and instructed him to go to Pharoah, Moses asked Him, “Who do I say sent me?”

God responded, “Tell him, I am.”

I am ______________ (fill in anything you wish). I am your comfort. I am your strength. I am your provision. I am your answer. He is more than enough. He is the source to every solution. He is exactly what we need. He is our portion.

Make this year the year you commit daily to a loving relationship with God. Make this the year you study His word every day. Communicate with Him throughout the day. And make Him front and center in your home.

Make this the year you end the aspects of your former self which cause you problems and begin fresh and new in the love of God.

May you love God deeper and experience the wonder of a fresh new start in Him.

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