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A Week for You to Think

The past isn’t what it used to be. —Unknown

Congratulations! By the mere fact that you’re reading this devotional today, you’ve obviously negotiated your way through the holiday season without dying. No, you didn’t eat so much that you actually exploded. No, none of your immediate relatives actually injured each other by being in the same room too long. The wrapping is crammed in the cardboard boxes on the curb and tree needles are beginning to fall to the carpet. Now all you have to do is figure out how to pay for it all. So it’s time to go back to work—or at least pretend to go back to work. (I’m not sure that any work really gets done during the week between Christmas and New Year’s. So, what’s this week good for?)

Traditionally, this is the week that we look back at the past year and then look ahead into the next year, making bold resolutions about what the next 365 days will be like. We also try, in vain, to remember the resolutions that we made last year. (BTW, anybody need a very slightly used treadmill? I know where you can find one cheap.)

I’m all for resolution, if it takes place in the biblical context of who we are in Christ and who God is. Let’s start with an overarching truth that puts everything in perspective:

Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” (James 4:13-15)

That’s powerful, sobering stuff. Read it again, if you would. Think about it. Pray about it. Let it soak in. It’s the perspective that keeps our hearts and our resolutions on track!

Lord of Life, my days are truly in Your hands. Every breath and every heartbeat is a gift from You. Open my mind to Your Word. Open my heart to Your voice. Humble me, Lord. I will live only if it is Your will. I will do “this or that” only if it is Your will. Amen.

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