A Prayer about the New Year and the Gospel
Now therefore fear the Lord and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness. Put away the gods that your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. (Josh. 24:14–15)
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Gracious Father, as I sit here sipping fresh coffee and watching flames dance in the fireplace, it’s early into the first day of a new year. Tons of confetti cover the streets of Manhattan, and gratitude fills my heart. I’m thankful I’m beginning this year with a little better understanding of the gospel than I had last year and the previous years. I’m already praying that I’ll be able to say the same thing this time next year. For the gospel is not just good news for people getting ready to die—it’s good news for people who are now ready to live. In the gospel you lavish us with your love, liberate us by your grace, and launch us into your transforming story of redemption. What more could we possibly want or hope for, in life or in death? Because the gospel is true, I don’t respond to Joshua’s bold charge with a list of New Year’s resolutions—promises of what I’m going to do for you. Rather, I begin this year resolving to abandon myself to everything Jesus has done for us. Jesus is the promise keeper, not us. He’s the one who has promised to make all things new, including me. Father, that’s why serving you is much more than merely “desirable”; it’s the greatest privilege conceivable and the purest delight imaginable. For Jesus is our Joshua—the one who has saved us, is saving us, and one day will completely save us.