Serving the community since 1922

Pastors' Corner: New Year's plans

In the busyness and stress of daily life, we often fall into a rut, just battling to get through each day as it comes. We survive, but do we thrive?

From time to time, we lift up our heads for a moment and wonder if things will ever improve, before the next task drags us back into our mindless routine. We dream about a life that is joyous and purpose-driven, but our reality remains the same.

As 2023 comes to a close, let’s take a moment to not only dream of a better 2024, but to plan and prepare in practical ways.

God is a planner! He had already prepared to rescue mankind before He even created the world. He even has plans for each of us. Jeremiah 29:13 says, “For I know the plans I have for you… (plans) to give you a future and a hope!” And Ephesians 2:10 says that God not only plans good works for us to do, but He prepares everything ahead of time.

The Scriptures give great advice for planning. It reminds us that the fulfillment of dreams comes at a cost – of finances, of time and of effort. Luke 14:28 says before starting a new project, you need to “first sit down and count the cost.” Be sure you’re not starting something you won’t have the time or resources to finish and that you are willing to pay the price for success. Speaking of limited resources, Ephesians 5:15-16 reminds us that we need to make good use of our time.

Throughout Proverbs, we are encouraged to seek out good advice if we want our plans to succeed (Prov. 11:14, 15:22, 20:18). It’s amazing how many problems we avoid when we listen and learn from others, instead of presuming that we already know how to proceed with a new project.

Proverbs also encourages us to stay focused. Even as we dream for the future, we need to take care of daily tasks (Proverbs 27:23). We also need to choose our risks carefully. Don’t walk off a cliff just to try something different (Proverbs 27:12, 13:16).

Even as we make plans, we need to remember that while there is much that we cannot control, God knows the future and, if we are wise, we will seek His counsel and conform our plans to His purposes (Proverbs 19:21). “Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.”Proverbs 16:3

May God bless you and your hopes in 2024 and as Psalms 20:4 declares, “May He grant your heart’s desire and fulfill all your plans!”

 

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