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The Beginning

A new year will greet us in just two days. That's right: 2016 will only last for under forty-eight hours more, and then 2017 will arrive. New years always begin full of hope and promise. They offer us a proverbial blank slate, a fresh start, a chance to begin anew and do better than the year before.

What are your hopes for 2017? I'm not talking New Year's resolutions (we'll break all of those anyway); I mean honest goals and visions for a new year. Do you want to grow closer to your family? Closer to God? Lead lost souls to the foot of the cross? Make a difference in your corner of Russell County -- or a different corner of the world? Volunteer more at church? Change jobs? Accept the calling God has placed on your life? What will it be in 2017?

What are your prayers for the new year? Healing? Salvation for a loved one? Safety? Provision? Just a closer walk?

Will we make 2017 a year of prayer and following the leadership of the Holy Spirit, or will we try to do things on our own and potentially work outside the will of God? Will we search the Scriptures? Bear one another's burdens? Love God and each other?

We'll only get one 2017, one chance to dedicate the year to the Lord. So what will it be, church? How will we act, what will we do in the new year?

Let's make it one for God -- and by His grace, we will.

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