Ringing In The New Year 2020 With Truth And Determination
Did you know that today, most families in the evangelical communities who have practiced the tradition of keeping and/or making New Year’s resolutions have done so since the early 1700s? It all started with the ancient Babylonians more than 4,000 years ago, but not in the month of January, as practiced in today’s modern world. For the Babylonians, the new year began in mid-March. The timing for this nostalgia is believed to have been approximately 1,500 years prior to the birth of Jesus Christ.
During this festive time, the Babylonians would crown a new king or just reaffirm their loyalty to the reigning monarchy. History records that they would also make promises to their gods to repay their debts and to return any objects they had borrowed.
Julius Caesar, the emperor of ancient Rome, also instituted a similar practice to honor the new year after he tinkered with the calendar and established January 1 as the beginning of the new year. This happened about 50 years before the birth of Jesus Christ. At that time, the new year’s celebration was based on the belief that since Janus, the two-faced god whose spirit inhabited the Roman constituents’ doorways and arches, looked backwards into the previous year and ahead into the future, they should offer sacrifices to that deity and make promises of their good intentions and conduct for the coming new year.
NOW YOU KNOW!
Fast forward to today’s early Christians. Especially, in regards to John Wesley, the English clergyman who founded the Methodist religion in 1740. He created a memorial called the Covenant Renewal Service, which was mostly held on New Year’s Eve or on New Year’s Day. Now, this religious celebration has become very popular within the evangelical and Protestant churches. Within the African-American churches it is better known as Watch Night. The services are mostly spent offering up prayers, praises and hymns to the Most High King and just before mid-night, all in attendance fall down on their knees to bring in the new year while making prayers/resolutions of omission and co-mission for the coming year to the Heavenly God.
WHERE DO YOU FIT IN?
Did God actually have a plan for “old time since” or “times gone by”? That’s what Auld Lang Syne literally means.
LET’S SEE WHAT THE BIBLE HAS TO SAY ABOUT ‘OLD TIME SINCE’ AND ‘TIMES GONE BY’
|Philippians 3:12-14 The Apostle Paul’s ultimate aspirations are found not in this life but in heaven because Jesus Christ is there. Paul writes: “Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”|
|Romans 1 and 2 In these two chapters, the Apostle Paul sets forth principles that govern God’s judgment. “You, (the Jewish Nation) therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things.”|
|Matthew 5:38-42 In the Beatitudes, Jesus taught this: “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth. But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.”|
I’m certain that you can find many more scriptures that instruct us as believers just how to conduct ourselves from day to day as well as from year to year. But the question is…are we obedient and do we adhere to God’s holy word. Did you make a New Year’s resolution for 2020? Did you keep last year’s resolution? Have you truly been born again?
Okay…those last 3 questions are really none of my business. I apologize. However, my last remarks are simply this: Please do not make a New Year’s Resolution for 2020 if you have no intention on keeping it. If you do make a resolution, immediately ask the Holy Spirit to help you keep it, in the Name of Jesus Christ. God will not be mocked! Have a private conversation with Him and perhaps pray this prayer…
Scripture Lesson: “Set a guard over my mouth, Lord; keep watch over the door of my lips. Do not let my heart be drawn to what is evil so that I take part in wicked deeds along with those who are evildoers; do not let me eat of their delicacies.” Psalm 141:3-4
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