New Year, Same God

January 6, 2022 — Krystal Craven
Devotional title text overlaying a night cityscape with fireworks above the buildings.

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Do not be led away by diverse and strange teachings, for it is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace, not by foods, which have not benefited those devoted to them… Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name. Hebrews 13:8-9,15

Every January brings about a new year in our recording of time, but it also tends to bring a feeling of hope and excitement as we start a new and fresh year. Some make resolutions or have new goals to work towards, others carry on from the past year hoping to do better than the year before.

Yet in the midst of the hustle and bustle of a new year, continues to sit enthroned in heaven above the God who does not change. Jesus is the same always, and with the Father there is no variation or shadow due to change.

We are warned not to be led astray by diverse and strange teachings, while living in a world that celebrates and elevates diversity and itching ear teachings that stray from the teachings of the Bible. We are told it is good for our hearts to be strengthened by grace, not by foods, which have not benefited those devoted to them, while living in a world with endless television shows dedicated to food and with social media influencers obsessed with various diets, swearing they will give you what you’re looking for in your own body if you’d just devote daily effort to follow them.

What if instead of making resolutions that affect your emotions and physical appearance, you resolved to daily growing in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ, who is the same yesterday, today, and forever? What if you resolved to continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, acknowledging Him in all your ways and letting Him direct your paths? What if you faced 2022 with a refreshed and renewed perspective that is aligned with the end times we currently live in, moving forward in the upward call of God in Christ Jesus, seeking His kingdom first? What changes would you need to make to devote yourself to those goals?

I want to challenge you to 3 things this year:

1.) Read your Bible every day. It doesn’t have to be whole chapters in a sitting. Read until God speaks to you and then meditate on that with Him, letting Him transform you by the renewal of your mind as He washes you in the water of His living and active Word.

2.) Pray throughout your day. Make it a habit to talk to God, your Creator and Savior, and make Him your best friend that you turn to talk to first. If you’re happy, tell Him about it. If you’re sad, pour out your broken heart to Him. If you’re mad, take it to the One whom vengeance belongs to. If you’re worried or fearful, cast your cares upon Him. When you’re lost or confused, seek wisdom and guidance from Him. When you hear of prayer requests for others, fervently intercede for them. If you find provision, beauty, humor, favor, anything good, thank and praise Him for it. Pray without ceasing.

3.) Make it a point to bless at least one person every day. It’s amazing what the Holy Spirit would use you to do if you’d only slow down enough to see the opportunity open. As you’re in prayer throughout the day, having gotten refreshed in the word, keep your eyes open for those around you whom the Holy Spirit would have you speak to, call or text, provide a need for, pray for, be used in whatever way He wills. You may start with one person a day now, but I bet it’ll turn into many more by the end of the year and you’ll be blessed in being used to bless others. God loves people, so love them too.

May your heart be strengthened by grace this year as you grow closer to your God, who has not changed once since you began walking with Him and will stay the same forever!