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Walking With God In The New Year

At this time of year in the northern hemisphere, we learn to walk carefully. Ice may cover a step, sidewalk, or the street. The mere mention of ice conjures up a threat of falling, possibly resulting in injury. A toddler taking its first steps learns quickly to walk carefully. Those who work around machinery are constantly warned to be careful around moving parts.

Yet regardless of how careful one might be, accidents happen, injuries occur, and sadly, lives are lost. In spite of all caution, we desperately need almighty God both to watch over and to guide us on our way through the new year. The apostle Paul wrote: “See then that you walk circumspectly [carefully], not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is” (Eph. 5:15-17).

During the past year many warnings were issued in regard to the change in the calendar which would include three zeros. By the end of last year few could have remained ignorant of the supposed Y2K problem. Threats of all sorts were described. Disasters resulting from computer failures suggested planes would fall out of the sky, elevators would crash, banks would fail; and not least of all, the end of the world as we know it would occur. If the doomsayers had been correct, we would not be reading this now!

Thank God we no longer need to fear our ignorance of what will happen at anytime. “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me” (Ps. 23:4). Nor do God’s children ever need to fear what they do not know. “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light” (Eph. 5:8).

We walk as children of light through faith in God’s Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. “Therefore be followers of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us” (Eph. 5:12). The Lord instructs us to follow God to redeem the time. To redeem the time means to make the most of the time God has graciously given us, “that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life” (Rom. 6:4).

Commit Your Way To The Lord

When someone who is baking needs sugar or flour and finds there is not enough, he or she will ask a neighbor for a cup to fill the needs. How many of us would like to ask for the extra cup of time by the end of a day or week?

Time for the children of God is precious every day of the year. Jesus said: “Seek first the klingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you” (Mt. 6:33). God’s “all” means everything we need for this life and the next! This is the Lord’s promise to His own people: “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.” The Psalmist wrote: “Commit your way to the LORD, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass” (Ps. 37:5).

Committing our way to the Lord means literally that we have been “rolled off” our weaknesses and placed securely in the Lord Jesus Christ. God tenderly invites us to ask Him for all things for Jesus’ sake, especially that He would lead us by His Word throughout every year, “giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Eph. 5:20).

Our heavenly Father takes us by the hand of His Word to walk through this life as His dear children. Through the Sacrament of Baptism the Holy Spirit has given us new life in Christ Jesus. Now our steps are no longer weak or hesitant.

Therefore changes in the seasons or the calendar should never influence our walk through the year with God our Savior. We confess with David: “But as for me, I trust in You, O LORD; I say, ‘You are my God.’ My times are in Your hand!” (Ps. 31:14,15).

–Pastor Rick Grams