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Settled In Heaven Ministries’ New Years Devotional Lessons…

NewYearsDevotions

A Christian’s New Year’s Devotional

SIH’s Think On These Things – New Year’s Devotional For 2013

New Year’s Devotion: Entering 2012 With Hope

SIH STSTA ICONIn Jeremiah 29:11, we find a wonderful promise that our Lord gives to His people…

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.”

The ESV translates this passage with a slightly different phrasing “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

Although the Lord originally gave this promise to the believers in the physical nation of Israel… in today’s time this promise applies to all believers (both Jewish and Gentile) who make up His spiritual nation of Israel.  (Gals 6:14-16).  As we begin the New Year, as believers in Christ, let us remind ourselves of this precious promise and the great hope that awaits us in the coming year.

THE SCRIPTURES:

Jeremiah 29:11

 

THE STUDY:

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.”

“know” – to observe, to perceive                      “thoughts” – plot, plan, invention, weave “think” – same as “thoughts”                             “saith” – to reveal, to utter, to proclaim “LORD”- Jehovah                                                 “thoughts” weave, plot, work                “peace” – harmony, health, prosperity              “evil” – adversity, mischief, sorrow, troubles “expected” – expectation, to count on, rely on “end” –  after part, end,

Here we find a clear declaration from our Lord concerning His plans and watch care for our lives.  The Lord makes 3 basic declarations in this verse.

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you”. – First of all, the Lord tells us that He personally makes individualized plans for each of our lives. He does not rely on others to plan our lives, nor does He simply allow our lives to go unguided and protected.  He has invented a plan for each of us.  This plan includes….

“thoughts of peace and not of evil” – the purpose of these plans is to bring to us prosperity and good, not sorrow and troubles.  By simply seeking His will for our lives, and then following that will, He will allow our lives to be successful in our endeavors for Him. By following His plans our lives will be spiritually prosperous and in harmony with our Lord.  These plans will not lead us into sin, sorrow or spiritual trouble.

Romans 8:28, reveals this same principle to us… And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

“to give you an expected end” – Third, The Lord tells us what the result of this truth should be for our lives…. An expected end… in other words, a future that we can place our hope and confidence in.  By understanding that the Lord has planned our lives in advance, and knowing that those plans will result in our good and spiritual prosperity, why should we not be hopeful and looking forward to a bright future for each of us?

Lamentations 3:25-26 – The LORD is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him. It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD

The ability to discern, follow, and patiently do His will for our lives can be a very difficult task.  In Daniel we have the perfect example of a King who rejected God’s will for His own will and had to learn a very difficult lesson.

Daniel 4:29-36

29At the end of twelve months he walked in the palace of the kingdom of Babylon.  30The king spake, and said, Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honour of my majesty?  31While the word was in the king’s mouth, there fell a voice from heaven, saying, O king Nebuchadnezzar, to thee it is spoken; The kingdom is departed from thee. 32And they shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field: they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen, and seven times shall pass over thee, until thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will.

33The same hour was the thing fulfilled upon Nebuchadnezzar: and he was driven from men, and did eat grass as oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven, till his hairs were grown like eagles’ feathers, and his nails like birds’ claws.

34And at the end of the days I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up mine eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding returned unto me, and I blessed the most High, and I praised and honoured him that liveth for ever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom is from   generation to generation:  35And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?  36At the same time my reason returned unto me; and for the glory of my kingdom, mine honour and brightness returned unto me; and my counsellors and my lords sought unto me; and I was established in my kingdom, and excellent majesty was added unto me.

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

For those who have trusted in Christ.

By patiently seeking the face of the Lord, and doing His will, we can be confident of what the future holds for us.  We can count on the fact that by simply serving Him our future will be filled with hope and spiritual prosperity.

For those who have never trusted in Christ.

The first step towards spiritual peace and prosperity is found by trusting the Lord with our past present and future.  Trust that He died on the cross, paying the price for the sins of His people.  Come to Him in a spirit of remorse with a willingness to turn from our sins and accept Him as the Lord of our life.  From that point forward we can know that He is leading and guiding us and preparing us a wonderful future of peace, and spiritual properity.  And we can know that our future will culminate in having a perfect, eternal habitation that He has prepared for us.

John 14:1-4

1) Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.

2) In my Father’s house are many mansions: if [it were] not [so], I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

3) And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, [there] ye may be also.

4) And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.

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www.settledinheavenbibleblog.posterous.com

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To see this lesson taught on video please go to my Video Blog at  http://www.youtube.com/settledinheaven

If you have any questions concerning this blog, or if you have a subject you would like discussed, please feel free to email me at settledinheaven@gmail.com.    I will answer all emails via my blog, email, or both.

Take A Look At My Wife’s Artistic/Scriptural Devotion Blog http://alivewithchristart.blogspot.com

Follow my Squidoo Instructional Lens “Presenting God’s Grace” “The Solemn Obligation To Present the Doctrines of Grace to the Lost and Saved Alike” http://www.squidoo.com/presenting-gods-grace

May the Lord bless your study of His Word.  Like God’s Word… may your soul’s salvation and your life’s faithfulness be “Settled in Heaven.”

A Christian’s New Years Devotion

SIH STSTA ICONThe Jewish Civil New Year begins on the first day of the month of Tishri on the Jewish calendar.  This month equates to our calendar months of September/October.  It was during this one month time frame that the Jews were instructed to observe three New Year related celebrations:  Feast of Trumpets (1st), Day of Atonement(10th), and the Feast of Tabernacles(15th-21st).

As we study these three celebrations, we can learn much about preparing for our new year as well.

THE SCRIPTURE:

Lev 23:23-44; Nums 29:1-40

THE STUDY:

The Feast of Trumpets (Lev 23:23-25, Nums 29:1-6)

This feast centered upon the ritualistic sounding of trumpets used to call men to assemble before God.   Besides calling men to attention or assembly, in the Bible, the blowing of trumpets emphasizes a new beginning, with new responsibilities, brought about by God’s intervention:

  1. Giving of 10 commandments – Exo 19:16
  2. Day of Atonement – forgiveness of national sin – Lev 25:9
  3. Fall of Wall of Jericho – Josh 6:20
  4. Defeat of Midianties – Judg 7:18
  5. Ark restored to city of David – 2 Sam 6:15
  6. New moon  beginning of new lunar cycle, new time of worship and service – Psa 81:3
  7. Israel’s deliverance from bondage of Assyria and Egypt – Isa 27:13
  8. Taking Of His people to Heaven at Rapture – Matt 24:31, 1 Cor 15:52
  9. The Lord’s judgments during Tribulation period – Rev 8:13

The Feast of Trumpets helps to remind us that:

It is by the Lord’s grace that we are entering into a New Year which can be a new beginning for us all.  This includes putting past failures behind us and looking forward to a new set of opportunities and responsibilities and victories in our service to Him.

The Day of Atonement (Lev 23:26-32, Num 29:7-11)

This was a day set aside for the Jewish people to “afflict” their souls. In other words, it was a time set aside for coming to the Lord in humility asking for forgiveness for sins and a renewal of dedication for His service, putting Him first in their lives.

Just as in the Feast of Trumpets, there was a  series of offerings that were to be made:

  1. Burnt – picturing His death on the cross accepted by God  – Lev 1:1-17
  2. Meat – picturing His blessings given to us  –  Lev 2:1-16
  3. Sin – Picturing forgiveness of our transgressions against Him  – Lev 4:1-35
  4. Drink – Picturing His shed blood on our behalf  –  Nums 15:5-7
  5. Peace – Picturing His work brings about peace (rest, comfort, forgiveness) for us – Lev 3:1-5
  6. Taken together, these represent His death, and shed blood, resulting in our forgiveness, peace and other blessings.

This was perhaps the most important observance for the Jewish celebrations.  If anyone refused to observe this Day of Atonement they were to be cut off from the people, alienated from all areas of worship and service.

The Day of Atonement reminds us that:

We have a great need to deal with our past sins, putting them behind us, and securing our communion with the Lord.  We are to enter into a New Year of service humbly and in submission to the Lord’s will and way for our lives.

The motive for both of these should be His great sacrifice on our behalf.  When we consider what He has done for us shouldn’t we desire a close walk with Him, not hindered by unconfessed sin?  Shouldn’t we desire to be in submissive to His desires for us?  After all, aren’t both of these “our duty to do”?

We cannot over emphasize the absolute importance of communion and submission for the coming year ahead.  To deal with sin in our lives and then be submissive to will for the future is essential to living a victorious life in the coming year.

The Feast of Tabernacles (Lev 23:34-44, Nums 29:12-40)

The Feast of Tabernacles was an eight day observance (beginning on the 15th of the month and concluding on the 22nd day of the month).  During this eight day celebration, the Israelites were to give sacrifices unto the Lord and dwell in booths (tents).  It was observed to remind the Israelites of their dwelling in tents during their wilderness journeys following their release from Egyptian slavery.

The Feast of Tabernacles helps us to remind us that:

We are currently on a pilgrimage here on earth.  This is not our permanent home, like the Israelites who were traveling through the wilderness waiting for the Promised Land.  We are only strangers and pilgrims on this earth, waiting for our permanent, heavenly home.

When trials enter our lives this coming year we need to always keep in mind, our heavenly home awaits… our greatest need is to rely on our Lord and keep looking for our heavenly home.

Please note in all of these three celebrations, no work was to be done on these days, emphasizing the need to concentrate solely on the things of God.  We should take a break from all the distractions the world has to offer and take time to simply commune with our Lord.  What better way is there to start the New Year?

Also, in all three celebrations we find a command to convene (assemble) was issued, this would allow for a time of worship and also a time of encouragement to be passed from one Israelite to another as they prepared to face their New Year.

We, as well, should learn from this principle.  Take time to worship at a Bible- believing church and try to encourage other Christians to prepare for the coming year.

THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION

For the Christian….

To summarize our preparation for the New Year:

  1.  It is by the Lord’s grace that we are entering into a New Year which can be a new beginning for us all.  (Phil 3:13-14)
  2. putting past failures behind us
  3. looking forward to a new set of opportunities and responsibilities and victories in our service to Him.
  4. Entering into a New Year of service humbly and submitting to the Lord’s will and way for our lives.  (James 4:7-8)
  5. Recognize His great sacrifice on our behalf. (Luke 17:10)
    1. When we consider all He has done for us shouldn’t we desire a close walk with Him, not hindered by unconfessed sin?
    2. Shouldn’t we desire to be in submissive to His desires for us?
    3. After all, aren’t both of these “our duty to do”?
  6. Realize we are currently on a pilgrimage here on earth. We are waiting for our permanent, heavenly home. (Heb 11:13-16)
    1. When trials enter our lives this coming year we need to always keep in mind, our heavenly home awaits, our trials will only last for a season.
  7. We should take a break from all the distractions the world has to offer and take time to simply commune with our Lord.  What better way is there to start the New Year?  (Psa 63:1-7)
  8. Take time to attend a Bible- believing church  (Heb 10:24-25)
    1. We can worship the Lord
    2. We can encourage other Christians to prepare for the coming year.

For those who have never trusted in Christ…

Now is the time for you to put your life of rebellion against God and His Word behind you and begin the New Year as a new creature in Christ (2 Cor 5:14-21).    None of us know what the New Year will bring into our lives, however, the greatest insurance for the future is being a child of God (Gal 4:4-7).  He promises to His children that He will never leave nor forsake His children (Heb 13:5-6) .  If adopted into His family, you can be assured of His love, care, communion and intervention in your life, as well as a glorious eternity awaiting you. (Matt 6:25-24)

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To see this lesson taught on video please go to my Video Blog at  http://www.youtube.com/settledinheaven

If you have any questions concerning this blog, or if you have a subject you would like discussed, please feel free to email me at settledinheaven@gmail.com.    I will answer all emails via my blog, email, or both.

Take A Look At My Wife’s Artistic/Scriptural Devotion Blog http://alivewithchristart.blogspot.com

Follow my Squidoo Instructional Lens “Presenting God’s Grace” “The Solemn Obligation To Present the Doctrines of Grace to the Lost and Saved Alike” http://www.squidoo.com/presenting-gods-grace

May the Lord bless your study of His Word.  Like God’s Word… may your soul’s salvation and your life’s faithfulness be “Settled in Heaven.”

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