The New Year
Hello Everyone, Happy New Year!
I hope you had a great night last night and saw 2013 in with style. We were at our church in Watford and prayed and worshiped God for the evening – it was a really special time. The New Year is always a chance to begin again and to take things in another direction. Probably lots of us have struggled with our Bible reading, most of us will have found it tough to keep going, but it has been quite an amazing few months hasn’t it? If you’re reading this having made a New Year’s resolution to get back into the BIAY then welcome back, it’s really great to have you with us…
And as we say goodbye to 2012 we’re also saying goodbye to Joshua. On his final day with us he leaves us with a message that sets us on course for the coming year. Joshua uses his last talk to encourage the Israelites to “hold fast to the LORD your God” (23:8). He talks about the way that God has been so faithful to the Israelites and the way He has carefully kept all His promises to them.
How would you describe the most wonderful person that you know? Joshua is trying to do just that as he describes God. In and amongst these pictures of our utterly wonderful God comes this line, “So be very careful to love the LORD your God.” (23:11). I’ve often thought of love as quite a careless thing. It can seem like that because when we’re in love feel light and happy and carefree. But Joshua is giving us some really wise advice here; he’s picking up on the fact that those who really show love often have to do it consciously and deliberately. It definitely doesn’t always come easily.
A guy called Brother Andrew is a hero of mine and you might have heard me talk about him at Soul Survivor. He’s now an old man but has spent much of his life doing crazy things for God. He started by smuggling Bibles into countries where they were banned and is, even now, still sneaking into distant countries to witness to terrorists and drug barons. I once had a chance to ask him a question: “Brother Andrew, you’re a 78 year old man who has lived the whole of his life for God, I’m a 21 year old who wants to do that. What’s your secret?” His simple, four-word answer has become something of a life’s ambition for me: “Stick close to Jesus”.
What we can sometimes forget is that choosing to love God and be near to God really is a choice. If we resolve not to just do ‘this’ or ‘that’ for God but to aim to be near God this year I’m convinced everything else will follow. Joshua warns us that there will always be distractions but he sets an example “But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD” (24:15).
I’ll certainly have days when I’ll mess up but I have a resolution for 2013. I will serve, trust and love the LORD.
Here’s a video summary of what we’ve read over the last 4 Months. We hope its useful to recap what you’ve read or to bring you up to speed so you can carry on in the New Year.
Today’s picture was taken by…
Emma Bosworth. Thanks Emma!
If you’d like to take your own picture to potentially be featured on the blog, then get your Soul Survivor Bible in One Year, and take a picture of yourself – and your Bible – at some interesting or colourful location. Then email it to us at email@example.com.
The pictures will need to be a pretty good resolution (we use 640px by 360 px so at least as big as that), landscape photos work best and if you include the day of the reading in the picture then make sure you send it to us a good few days before that reading, so we have time to include it in that day’s post! We’ll credit all photographers!