Calhoun Times Religion

Randy Muse, Religion Correspondent

I love to read church marquis signs. We have a lady at Antioch who changes ours. I’m very observant about what she puts on the sign, but she doesn’t know that unless she’s reading this article, lol. The message she leaves is always encouraging for the most part. Some of the messages are short, and others not so much. Some of them are simple, while others require a little more thought. This week’s message hit the nail on the head, as it read “The new year brings new challenges. Jesus brings new life.”

With the New Year, many people set New Year’s resolutions. There are usually several things that we resolve to change about our self. Maybe it’s to overcome addictions, or maybe it’s to lose weight (which could result from a food addiction).

Maybe it’s not so much of old habits that you want to give up. Maybe it’s new habits that you want to develop. You may want to give more to charities (like my youth ministry...sorry I couldn’t help it). Perhaps you want to attend church more regularly.

We should hope for more opportunity this year to serve the Lord. Personally, I hope that that I will have a little more time to spend at home with family. I need to devote more time to reading my Bible than I did last year. As a body of believers, I feel like we absolutely must give more time to prayer. We need to be in prayer for our spouses, our children, our families, our neighbors, our churches and church leaders, our schools, our government on all levels. In humility and thankfulness, I realize that there’s a whole lot more prayer going up for me than there is going out of me. So an increase in prayer time is at the top of my thoughts for change.

One thing we can all count on as this new year begins is tribulation. The Lord tells us in John 16:33, “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” Jesus wants to encourage us as we open new chapters of our lives that will bring depression and discouragement, knowing that He is with and for us.

Jesus wants to do something new in your life. He wants to restore and use us. As we begin this new year, let us surrender each day of our lives to the one who gives and sustains life. Be Blessed.