Let’s have a new beginning with Jesus in 2012

By REV. ADREN BIVINS 

Laymen Brotherhood Second Chance Outreach

We have been blessed to see the year 2012 arrive and that is a blessing. So many started out in 2011, but did not make it. We are still in the celebration mood, with food left over from the holidays; cakes, pies, turkey, ham, decorations, and new toys for the kids for Christmas.

As I entered one of the stores to buy some black eyed peas and hog jowls, the traditional New Year dinner, so many people were buying the same thing. I had to stand in line and wait my turn to pay for it. At that moment, I felt the blessing for being able to just be alive. It is a blessing to be among the living and not the dead. My mind had to reflect back on how the Lord kept us all and is able to do the same in the years to come. We must be thankful to God for all he has done. We must take time out for our families and friends, but most of all, take time out for God.

We must spend time in studying his Holy Bible. As we sat around the table and discussed the Bible and prepared to attend watch night worship service at my church, I thought about how the Lord has allowed us to follow this pattern every year, attending church and testifying on how the Lord has blessed us during the year.

As we begin a new year, we all should trust the Lord more and worry less. The book of Joshua reminds us of the history of Israel’s conquest of the promised land. The 24 chapters tell us about the problems the Israelites had before entering Canaan. Moses led the people through a circuitous route through the desert, not because they were following their leader, but because they were disobedient and refused to obey God.

Moses did not take them across the Jordan River, but Joshua took them over. Before the people were gathered to cross over, they were informed about their past. This was God’s order. Joshua served God and Moses for 40 years. He was qualified to take over and God always has a “ram in the bush.”

The Bible tells us that Joshua was filled with the spirit of wisdom because Moses laid his hands on him (Deuteronomy 24:9). The Israelites listened to him and did what the Lord had commanded Moses. When Moses was leading his people, as being directed by God, he reminded them to remember the past, but look to the future. Joshua was a strong military leader, and a strong spiritual influence. His success was his submission to God.

If we want to have a prosperous year in 2012, we need to follow God’s word and do all we can to help one another. The only time we should look down on someone is when we are helping them up. As we enter the New Year, we need to be more committed to God. I ask God each day to bless me so I can be a blessing to someone else. So, let us remember the past, but look to the future. If we do that, our homes, churches, communities, jobs, schools, cities, counties, states, countries and the world would be a better place. Start this year with Jesus and he will never leave you.

Prayer: “Dear Father, thank you for a new year and thank you for blessing each of us. Help us to follow you closer, and be more thankful for your blessings. In Jesus’s name. Amen.”

The Rev. Adren Bivins Sr., a clergyman, is the founder of Laymen Brotherhood Second Chance Outreach Center Inc., a non-profit Bainbridge organization. He can be reached by calling (229) 465-3752 or (229) 416-0476.

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