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A New Year, A New Start!

A New Year, A New Start!

      One cannot contemplate this day, the first day of a year and not consider the fact that the year is new. After all, this particular year has never existed before, therefore it is “new”.   For many, this is a time to “start over” and as a result, many make resolutions.   What better time to “resolve” to do better than at the beginning of a new year?

     There have been a number of “new” things, in the Bible.   Something new usually brings about change. If the change is for good, it is a positive thing. If not, then it produces an unsatisfactory result.   For instance, the new king (Pharoah) over Egypt of Exodus 1:8 “knew not Joseph”.   This meant that he cared not for the benefit of God’s Providence as existed when Joseph, (who served God), was placed in power by a previous Pharoah.   The result – They oppressed Israel.   Neither this “new” king, nor his plans were good.

     God also had plans for something new. The “new” He had planned was good and was for the good of mankind. He had planned this from before the foundations of the world. In Isaiah 66:22 the Spirit had the prophet pen Words to help Israel understand how God would fulfill His promise to Abraham, and would also preserve the faithful and obedient among them.   For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the LORD, so shall your seed and your name remain.  Indeed, that new heaven and new earth (the church of Christ) was established, and Salvation was brought to “all Israel” as Romans 11:26-27 tells us. And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: 27 For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.

       Perhaps another way to consider the new year and the new start is to also continue in that which is good.   God has no need to change because He is good. I cannot think of any that would deny this. Malachi 3:6 shows that neither God nor His plan changes, and that even the sons of Jacob could benefit. For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.   Through the plan of God, Christ, the Son of God came through the seed of Jacob to die and purchase His church.  

     There are many ways in which we can continue that which is good in the new year by aligning with God’s Word.   Part of aligning with God’s Word is to keep doing the things God would have us do.   God never wants us to cease or digress from that which is good. As we enter the “New Year” let us “Take Heed” to what God has directed in His Word and continue doing them.  

     The article below was written July 15, 1962 by O.D. Wilson (my wife’s father) for the Liberty Hill church of Christ - Mableton, Georgia bulletin. It is excellent advice, and had application then as well as now.    

(Dennis Strickland – Mooresville church of Christ)


     “Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.” (1Tim. 4:16)

     To say that there are warnings given in the gospel of Christ is to state the truth. The above passage is one example. Every Christian ought to give the earnest heed thereto.

     In the first place, the teacher, preacher, or saint of God is warned to “take heed unto thyself . . . “.   It is altogether possible to focus attention upon other people or things and forget our own personal lives.   It is of little or no value to teach the truth if the one teaching it does not practice what he preaches. The apostle writes: “Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, KNOWN AND READ OF ALL MEN.” (2Cor. 3:2)   People read us far more than they do the Word of God.

       Next, let us point out that purity of life and conduct is not all that the Lord requires of His servants. He says: UNTO THE DOCTRINE. How many men have you known who lived a rather good life but perverted the doctrine of Christ? How many friends and neighbors do the same? When it comes to friendship or neighborliness, they can’t be beat, BUT they know little about the doctrine of Christ. (Note that the doctrine of Christ is always in the singular.) Doctrines of devils indicate that Satan has many doctrines. So he does. From 2John verse 9: “Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.”.   This statement alone should be sufficient to cause the preacher to stick strictly to the book of books.   In Gal. 1:8: “But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.”

       If the preacher stays with the BOOK he shall save himself and THEM THAT HEAR HIM.   Jesus says something about the “blind leading the blind” and declaring they’d both fall into the ditch. It is lamentable that men who can scarcely read and write attempt to preach the gospel. The souls of men, whether preacher or hearer, are too important for such. We are commanded to “study to show ourselves approved unto God . . . “. God does not call or invite those who are unprepared, in any sense, to represent Him in the most important and eternal things of all.     TAKE HEED.

(O.D. Wilson – deceased)

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