I once heard a story about a man who was reading his morning newspaper and was shocked to find his name listed in the obituary column. Outraged, he called the newspaper. “This is terrible,” he screamed, “How could you do this to me?” The newspaper’s explanation did not satisfy the man, and so he demanded to speak to the editor. After listening to the man yell for quite a while, the frustrated editor said, “Look, buddy! Cheer up. I’ll put your name in the birth column tomorrow, and you can have a fresh start!”
Every year I look forward to January 1 with excitement and anticipation. It is a new beginning—a time to make new goals and commitments. There are new opportunities and events to anticipate, and I have another year in which to make precious memories with my family.
Psalm 51:10 says, “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.” Our focus in the new year ought to be a new heart—a heart that has been cleansed and refreshed by the Spirit of God. When our hearts and motives are pure, our vision in the new year will be clear.
Wouldn’t it be great if each of us entered the new year with a new heart–a heart that is pure before God. What would this do in our marriages, our churches, and our homes? How would it help us in accomplishing God-given goals and desires? Instead of making lists of resolutions, what would happen in our lives if we chose to make the following Bible verses our prayer every day and claim this special promise in the new year?
“A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.” Ezekiel 36:26–27
As I ponder my goals this year, I am constantly reminded that they are all meaningless if my heart is displeasing to God. How I pray that my heart will remain soft before Him, and that my goals will be accomplished through His strength. I pray that you will ask God to renew your heart and spirit this year. When you are abiding in Christ with a pure heart, you will be able to accomplish all things through Him.