Weekly Devotion for January 2, 2023
By Tsuker Yang
Insights for Living the New Year
I have seen the business that God has given to everyone to be busy with. He has made everything suitable for its time; moreover, he has put a sense of past and future into their minds, yet they cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end. I know that there is nothing better for them than to be happy and enjoy themselves as long as they live; moreover, it is God’s gift that all should eat and drink and take pleasure in all their toil. (Ecclesiastes 3:10-13)
Happy New Year! Thanks be to God… for a new day and a new beginning, a time to start fresh, and a season of jubilation for whatever you are planning to do. God has given us the mind with a sense of the past and future, but we know not what the future holds. Only God knows. However, we can glean from the wisdom of the wise and faithful as we charter into this new year. My hope is that we will experience life in its fullness and abundance, for these are God’s gift and will for us.
The Bible considers Solomon to be one of the wisest persons ever lived, and especially for his time. Solomon was credited as the author of Ecclesiastes, Proverbs and Song of Songs. Perhaps, we can reflect and gain insights from the words of Solomon for living the new year.
--Our work will continue, so don’t let worry overcome us. Work is a part of life. In his words, Solomon said, “God has given to everyone to be busy with.” Our work may be the same, or it may change, but it will continue. What is important is that we will have a job, and will always be busy, unless we choose not to. Let’s not be worried but thankful.
--We should consider doing something new and current. Learn something new, do something new, meet new people, visit a new place, join a new Bible study, make changes to our routines, time and behaviors. “God has made everything suitable for its time”, said Solomon. We are living in a rapid changing time. Consider what is suitable for you in today’s time, culture and society, and seek to practice it in your life.
--Remember our past, but more importantly, focus on our future. “God has given us a sense of past and future.” Let’s focus on the future, not the past or even the present. Determine what that future is and dedicate your work, time and treasure to it. Imagine this also with your church.
--Know that God is with us and wants the best for us and of us … to be happy and enjoy life as long as we live. God will help us along the way of life, providing our needs. We will have food to eat, water to drink, clothes to wear and a place to sleep. But we first must work out our toil and God will add to it. All these are “God’s gift that we should eat and drink and take pleasure in all their work.”
--Fear God and we will gain wisdom for living. As it is said in Proverbs, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom and the knowledge of the Hoy One is insight. For by me your days will be multiplied, and years will be added to your life” (Proverbs 9:10-11). In other words, pay attention to God and God’s words, including our worship, and we shall live.
Let’s pray: God of time and God of season, God of wisdom and God of life, the Creator of heavens and earth, thank you for this new year. Give us the wisdom to live, to give you praise and glory, and to serve you and our neighbors, as we charter into the new year not knowing what is ahead of us. Protect us and provide us with your gift of loving mercy and grace that we may find the new year filled with happiness and joy. This we pray in the name of your Son Jesus Christ, Amen.