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Facing a New Year

Facing the New Year With the Master
Dr. Dennis F. Kinlaw

​Read Isaiah 43:16 – 21

I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses.
​Joshua 1:3

The New Year brings hope. As we look into the year that opens before us, we would like to think that it could be better than the one behind us. That yearning for something better is a gift from God and a promise that the hope can be realized. God wants the year before you to be the best that you have ever had. The key lies in where you look for fulfillment. It must not be within yourself, for your resources have not suddenly increased. You need resources that are fresh and new and can enable you to claim a measure of effectiveness and fulfillment that you have not yet known.

God is the God who wants to make all things new, and his presence can be recognized by the element of radical promise that confronts us when we come to know him. With God comes the word that the future can be better than the present. When Abraham met God, the experience contained a promise staggeringly large. It was that the barrenness of an old woman and the emptiness of a home would change. In the meeting when God met Moses was the assurance that he was made for more than defeat and shepherding. The promise was given to him that God would use him to set his people free. In fact, Moses was to be God’s man to build a nation. In Joshua’s relationship to God was the promise that God had a land for his wandering people. In David’s communion with God, he learned that God intended to give his people a capital city, a temple, and a throne that would last forever. The Hebrew prophets told of the King who would sit on that throne, one greater than Moses or David, and of a kingdom of people with new hearts where the will of God was not an external command but an inward delight. John the Baptist announced his own role as the messenger who had come to tell the people that the kingdom of heaven was at hand.

The very mark of the people of God in the Old Testament was that their faces were turned toward the future and were marked by confidence and expectation. Can we who live on this side of Bethlehem, Calvary, Easter, and Pentecost do otherwise?

Dennis Kinlaw. This Day with the Master, (Zondervan Press, 2002) January 1.