Daily Devotion for December 31, 2014
Seventh Day of Christmas
New Year’s Eve
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever.
We’ll take a cup of kindness yet.
and never brought to mind ?
Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and auld lang syne?*
For auld lang syne, my dear,
for auld lang syne,
we'll take a cup of kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.
And there’s a hand my trusty friend !
And give us a hand o’ thine !
And we’ll take a right good-will draught,
for auld lang syne.
*(literally, old long since, i.e., days gone by)
Prayer for the Coming Year
You are ushering in another year, untouched and freshly new, So here I come to ask You God if You'll renew me too?
Forgive the many errors, that I made yesterday, And let me try again dear God, to walk closer in Thy way.
But Father, I am well aware, I can't make it on my own. So take my hand and hold it tight, for I can't walk alone.
Prayer of Determination
Oh heavenly Father, who has created me, who has preserved my life, and who has promised the joy of eternal life to all who come to Him through his only Son, Jesus Christ: I vow and determine to grow in my faith during the coming year, learning your holy Word, coming to you in prayer every day, and resolving to walk in all those good works which you have commanded us to walk in.
Bless me in my endeavors, dear God; if it may please you, send your Holy Spirit to always remind and correct me when I stray from your path; and renew in me, today and every day of 2015, a sense of your unceasing presence. Let me honor you with my time, my love, my bounty, my words and deeds, as I lay up my treasure in heaven. In Christ's name, I pray,
[The benefit of walking closer with God.]
O good shepherd, seek me out, and bring me home to your fold again. Deal favourably with me according to your good pleasure, until I may dwell in your house all the days of my life, and praise you forever and ever with them that are there.
(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.
How to Treat Others
Treat people as if they are what they ought to be and you will help them become what they are capable of becoming.
Genesis 17:1-8 (ESV)
Abraham and the Covenant
When Abram was ninety-nine years old the Lord appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am God Almighty; walk before me, and be blameless, that I may make my covenant between me and you, and may multiply you greatly.” Then Abram fell on his face.
And God said to him, “Behold, my covenant is with you, and you shall be the father of a multitude of nations. No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham, for I have made you the father of a multitude of nations. I will make you exceedingly fruitful, and I will make you into nations, and kings shall come from you.
And I will establish my covenant between me and you and your offspring after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your offspring after you. And I will give to you and to your offspring after you the land of your sojournings, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession, and I will be their God.”
Notes on the Scripture
We are about to start our new calendar year. It is the time of beginnings, the time of renewal and fresh starts. The membership of Weight Watchers triples in January; gyms hire temporary employees. It is the time for getting down to the business of what is important to us in the long term.
Although these are usually intended to be permanent lifestyle changes, very few people keep their New Year's resolutions for more than a few months, if that. Don't fall into the trap of biting off more than you chew. It is better to do too little, and establish it as a permanent habit in your life, than to do too much and be doomed to failure from the first eager, earnest day.
You cannot establish a covenant with God; God's covenants are established by Him. People can only accept or reject. You can, however, give God a gift of daily discipline that will benefit you. And since we hope that our actions of devotion are pleasing to Him, perhaps you can accomplish that as well.
Take an impossibly small amount of time, say, ten minutes. If that is too much, five minutes. If that is too much, two minutes. And every morning (either early or at midmorning), do the most important thing you can possibly do for yourself. Go into a quiet place. If you have a hectic morning in your house, go into your room and lock the door, and let everyone know that you are not to be disturbed under any circumstances. The world is not going to end if you do not participate for five minutes (no matter what your children may tell you). Turn off the ringer on the telephone.
Sit in a comfortable spot, with your head upright, and close your eyes. Then take a deep breath and empty your mind. Meditate about God and the day to come. If you have read our Daily Devotional, you can take a phrase from the Scripture or one of the prayers as a starting spot. Or if you do it before your morning time of prayer and reading, it will put your mind in a state to receive God's word.
Relax and let God center you. When outside thoughts intrude, gently brush them away. Most importantly, time yourself on your watch.
If you do this, the minutes you spend will be returned to you ten times over. You will start your day with a lot less anxiety, confusion and turmoil. You may not even know how much confusion your mind has been in, until you lessen it. You cannot successfully spend your entire life “in the moment”, but life constantly tries to force this upon you. If you spend every second trying to solve immediate problems, the most important things will never be addressed.
Best of all, this is a sustainable habit. If you do this for a few weeks, you can do it for the rest of your life. I do this, and if my mind starts to worry over things, I use the phrase “God give me the peace to do Your will” to relax and recenter my mind.