Loving God. Loving our neighbor.

On New Year’s Eve 2017

Scotty Smith
Be still and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:8-10
Heavenly Father, it’s the last day of 2017, and our hearts are filled with many thoughts, multiple emotions, and real hope. What a complex, consternation-filled year it’s been, globally and personally. As in every previous year, there were big disappointments and wonderful providences. Both stir our longings for life ahead of us, in the new heaven and new earth.
As much as we’d love to control a lot of things in 2018, the primary resolution we make today is to abandon ourselves more fully to Jesus—who is our “righteousness, sanctification, and redemption” (1 Cor. 1:30), “the ruler of the kings of the earth” (Rev. 1:5), the Lord who is making “all things new” (Rev. 21:5).
Jesus is our only boast and riches, our confidence and joy, our sanity and peace. Some trust in horses and chariots, and some rely on resolutions and rededications; but our hope is built on nothing less, more, or other than Jesus. For so great, free, and complete a salvation, we praise, bless, and adore you. Father, we are so grateful for the gospel.
During the past year, you were always faithful, loving, and present, even when we questioned your ways and, at times, felt distant from your heart. Though we worry and whine, you are always working in all things, for our good and your glory. Thank you, Father.
As we begin 2018, help us discern between the good and the best, the non-essential and the essential, and the eternal and the temporary. What relationships and missions would you have us invest more in more fully? What circumstances, heartaches, and people must we simply trust you with, Father? No matter what, please make Jesus bigger and more beautiful in our gaze. Oh, that 2018 would be the year you would send him back. So very Amen we pray, in Jesus’ reigning, righting, and righteous name.