A New Beginning (some thoughts from the Scriptures)

Genesis 1:1-3
‘Genesis’ means ‘beginning’. Its opening verses challenge us to get our priorities right.

(a) the priority of God(1)
 God comes first. Before anyone else is mentioned, He is there.
(b) the priority of God’s Word (3)
God is the first to speak. Before any human word is spoken, there is the Word of the Lord.
(c) the priority of God’s Spirit (2)
All was ‘empty’, all was ‘darkness’, yet ‘the Spirit of God’ was at
work, and transformation was set in motion.
Here, we have God’s priorities, set out in the first three verses of the Bible. Putting God first and listening to His Word, we are to pray for the moving of God’s Spirit, ‘hovering over’ our lives to transform them. For those who make God’s priorities their own, there is a promise of great blessing (Psalm 1:1-2). It is the great blessing of knowing Jesus Christ, our Saviour, as ‘God with us’ (Matthew 1:23).

 

Joshua 1:1-5
God’s promise for the New Year – “As I was with Moses, so I will be with you” (Joshua 1:5).

 

Psalm 1:1-3
“His delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night” (Psalm 1:2). May God help us, during 2014, to feed day-by-day on His Word, which is so full of blessings for every one of us.

 

Psalm 119:105-112
We begin the year with the words of verse 105: ‘Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path’. This a great text with which to begin the year. It is a great starting-point as we give ourselves afresh to the study of God’s Word. As we journey through life with God and His Word, we discover that there is a Word from the Lord for every part of life’s journey. There is never a time when God has nothing to say to His people. Sometimes, He speaks to us from places which seem rather unlikely. As we explore His Word, we learn that He is the true and living God, ever ready to bring to us something new, something fresh, something that will send us on our way rejoicing, something that will strengthen our faith, something to deepen our commitment to Christ, something to increase our love for the Saviour. As we receive God’s Word – ‘a lamp to our feet and a light to our path’ – we are to pray, ‘renew my life, O Lord, according to Your Word’ (107).

Jeremiah 1:4-9
Called by God to bring His Word to others, let us draw strength from the Word which He speaks to us: “I have put My words in your mouth” (Jeremiah 1:9).

Malachi 1:1-2
Here are some wonderful words from the beginning of the final book of the Old Testament: ‘”I have loved you” says the Lord’ (Malachi 1:2).

Mark 1:1
“The beginning of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.” This is more than a story from a long time ago, a story about someone who lived a long time ago. This is the Gospel. This is Good News for today. Jesus Christ is Good News.

Galatians 1:1-4
Here are words to take with you into 2014. Here are words to carry with you throughout 2014. Grace from God, Glory to God (Galatians 1:3-4).

Philippians 1:1-6
At the end of the old year, let us look back and give thanks for what God has done for us. At the beginning of the New Year, let us look forward, with faith and prayer, to what God will do for us.
Here are some words of encouragement – “He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the Day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6). They remind us of God’s faithfulness. He loved us in 2013. He will love us in 2014. This is the faithfulness of God. Thank God for His faithfulness in the past. Trust Him for His faithfulness in the past.

 

Colossians 1:1-6
“All over the world this Gospel is bearing fruit and growing” (Colossians 1:6). The work of the Gospel is always more than what’s happening in the place where you live. Continue to pray for the work of the Lord in many places. Don’t forget to pray for those who brought the Word of the Lord to you and are now serving the Lord in another place.

 

1 Thessalonians 1:1-5
Pray for the advance of the Gospel in your heart, in your church, in your land and throughout the world. own place and throughout the world. Pray that “the Gospel will come to you not simply with words, but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and with deep conviction” (1 Thessalonians 1:5).

 

Hebrews 1:1-2
As your study of God’s Word takes you into different part of Scripture – “God spoke … through the prophets at many times and in various places”, make sure that your main focus of attention is always on Jesus – in these last days He has spoken to us by His Son.”

 

2 Peter 1:1-4
As you explore the Word of God, never lose sight of the purpose for which God has given us His Word: “He has given us His very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires” (2 Peter 1:4).

 

Revelation 1:1-8
At the beginning of each year, we look forward in faith. Looking to Jesus Christ, we look beyond the New Year. We look on to the eternal glory of God’s everlasting Kingdom – “The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants what must soon take place” (Revelation 1:1); “He is “coming with the clouds” (Revelation 1:7). He is “the Alpha and the Omega (the A and the Z, the Beginning and the End), who is, and who was, and who is to come” (Revelation 1:8).
Many people speak about “New Year Resolutions.” Let us pray for a ‘new life revolution’ – “a new creation in Christ Jesus” (2 Corinthians 5:17). Let there be revolution because there is revelation. In 2014, may our lives be changed by the Word of the Lord. May we learn to look more and more to Jesus. May we become more and more like Jesus. May we give more give more and more glory to Him. May He give more and more blessing to us. May we win more and more people for Him. In 2014, let there be more of Christ and less of self.

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