Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Break, Newborn Year

As we reflect on the year that has just passed and the year that is to come, this beautiful hymn reminds of us what is constant: the Father loves, the Savior stays, the Spirit does not go away.

Even time, which goes by faster with each passing year, cannot make the Father cease to love.

See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are. I John 3:1

The year that just passed went quickly, with winged feet as this hymn writer says. But even though it passed quickly, the Savior still stays. Indeed, He is our hope and stay!

But now, thus says the Lord, your Creator, O Jacob, and He who formed you, O Israel, “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine! When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, nor will the flame burn you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior." Isaiah 43:1-3

We now face a new year - but we can face it with confidence and hope because the Holy Spirit stays with us - He does not go away.

But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you. John 14:26

This past year probably brought both joy and sadness, in some degree. We can rejoice that even though our hearts may run over with tears, our Lord's smile still beams on us. And we can be encouraged that we have a Savior who has experienced the things that we face.

For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. Hebrews 4:15

And, even though are sin is swelling with each new year, God's pardoning grace still streams.

For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace. John 1:16

For as through the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous. The Law came in so that the transgression would increase; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, even so grace would reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 5:19-21

So what can we offer to the Lord in this new year? I want Him to have from me, as this hymn says, more service, more glory, more delight. I want my hours to be less sad with sin and my days with Him more bright.

I want to saturate my life with the truth of His Word; that it would dwell in my heart and that my every decision would be in alignment with His will.

I delight to do Your will, O my God; Your Law is within my heart. Psalm 40:8

I want to filled with the fruit of righteousness, so that He receives the praise and glory!

And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ; having been filled with the fruit of righteousness which comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God. Philippians 1:9-11

I want to serve others in love.

For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. Galatians 5:13

I want to have the right attitude about serving - I want to follow Jesus' example as a servant.

It is not this way among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave; just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” Matthew 20:26-28

I want to serve in the strength that God supplies so that He is glorified.

Whoever speaks, is to do so as one who is speaking the utterances of God; whoever serves is to do so as one who is serving by the strength which God supplies; so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. I Peter 4:11

I want to work for the Lord, remembering that I am serving Him in whatever I do.

Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve. Colossians 3:23-24

I want to meditate more on His word, so that I may not sin against Him.

Your word I have treasured in my heart, that I may not sin against You. Psalm 119:11

I want Him to shine in me so that others will see His glory.

For God, who said, “Light shall shine out of darkness,” is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. II Corinthians 4:6

I want to have the attitude of Paul, that to live is Christ and to die is gain. (Philippians 1:21) If the Lord blesses me with more time on earth, I want to be thankful for the earthly cheer. And if He chooses to take me home, I rejoice at being in His presence.

For if we live, we live for the Lord, or if we die, we die for the Lord; therefore whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s. Romans 14:8

So, let's look forward to this new year, and greet it with anticipation! For although we do not know what may be coming for us in the new year, we know Who is on the throne, and that He is in control.

So with happy melody, Thine opening grace we greet!

Break, Newborn Year
Words by Thomas Gill

Break, newborn year, on glad eyes break,
Melodious voices move;
On, rolling time; thou canst not make
The Father cease to love.

The parted year had wing├Ęd feet;
The Savior still doth stay;
The new year comes; but Spirit sweet,
Thou goest not away.

Our hearts in tears may oft run o’er;
But Lord, Thy smile still beams;
Our sins are swelling evermore,
But pardoning grace still streams.

Lord, from this year more service win,
More glory, more delight:
O make its hours less sad with sin,
Its days with Thee more bright.

Then we may bless its precious things
If earthly cheer should come,
Or gladsome mount on angel wings
If Thou wouldst take us home.

O golden then the hours must be;
The year must needs be sweet;
Yes, Lord, with happy melody
Thine opening grace we greet.