DEVOTIONAL: We must make the most of the New Year

“After the angels had gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, ‘Let us go straight.’ ” (Luke 2:15)

“Be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil.” (Ephesians 5: 15-16)

By Rev. Tim Coker,
Central Baptist Church,

It is a silly tradition, but one filled with significance for our family.
Just about every year since my childhood, our family has spent one night of Christmas week at Mama’s and Daddy’s. We “bar-be-qued” pigs … or turkeys … or roasts … or whatever. We camped, cooked, ate and spent the night, playing games like “Spades” or “Phase 10” and others.
Each year was different, and yet, each year was the same.
Even now, though our parents are gone, our family still finds time to “get together” during the week. I always find myself looking back. I look back at my childhood, my family and what they have meant to me.
I look back at Christmases “gone by,” full of great memories, like:
(1) The Christmas I proposed to Donna … and she said “yes”!
(2) Our first Christmas spent away from home in Montana … the temperature was minus 27 degrees!
(3) A “Central Christmas” with the Chipmunks and Pounds of Grace, as well as many “good” acts (from both children and adults)!
(4) A COVID Christmas … where everything has changed, and yet, everything is the same.
Mostly, I think of the people from “back there.” Some have aged with me, some have grown up, and some have passed away. We have shared times of laughter, tears, disagreement and ministry. We have “done life” together.
One thing is certain: I never look back at the “past” without realizing how thankful I am for the “present”! I’ll look into Donna’s eyes tonight, and into the faces of my family and friends with a new urgency … knowing we will never have this Christmas again!
We’ll never have the chance to “get it back.” That is the way of the world! We must make the most of it. Now!
As you read this, Christmas Day will be long gone.
The turkeys have been cooked … and eaten! The presents have been opened. The decorations have been taken down. As a matter of fact, by the time you read this, January will be almost over. The ball-drop is a thing of the past. Most New Year’s resolutions will have been broken, if not totally abandoned! New Year anticipation has given way to winter apathy.
As we look back, let’s remember to look ahead and to look at the “now.” If God allows us to live through it, we must make the most of the New Year! We will never have another opportunity to live 2022 again!
So, let’s make the most of it! Let’s “go straight” to Bethlehem … or to whatever lies ahead. Let’s “make the most of our time.” Let’s live it! Let’s live it NOW! Let’s live it for Him! Let’s live it with Him!
Happy New Year!

Author: Stephan Drew

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