Looking Back, Moving Forward
Pastor Eugene shares a useful list of 10 questions to ask at the start of a new year and encourages us to come together for the Watchnight service on New Year’s Eve (8pm).
In Psalm 39, David expresses a profound truth about our existence: Time is fleeting and life is short. He prays to God: “Behold, you have made my days a few handbreadths, and my lifetime is as nothing before you. Surely all mankind stands as a mere breath!” (v. 5)
As another year draws to a close, we are again reminded of the importance of numbering our days and redeeming the time. For some of us, we have mourned the passing of loved ones this past year. The Lord called my grandmother home last month.
Now is a good time to reflect on where we have been, where we are going, how God has helped us, and how we need His help in the coming days. This is David’s request: “O LORD, make me know my end and what is the measure of my days; let me know how fleeting I am!” (v. 4)
Once the new year begins, it is easy to get caught up with the frenetic pace of life. Amid the rush, we neglect what God calls His people to do through Haggai the prophet: “Consider your ways.” (Hag. 1:5). Given that we still have a few days of 2018 left, it is apt to pause and take a deep breath before we dive into the new year.
So let’s come together for the Watchnight service on New Year’s Eve. We want to spend the closing moments of 2018 looking back and thanking God for how He has helped us. We also want to prepare to move forward into the new year, by reflecting on how God is able to grow us together in grace in 2019. Do join us at 8pm on Monday, December 31 for an evening of fellowship in praise and prayer, hearing God's word, and being encouraged by testimonies of His grace at work among us.
To help us think about the direction of our lives, Don Whitney, the professor of biblical spirituality at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, has come up with this useful list of 10 questions to ask at the start of a new year. Let’s take some time to prayerfully consider our lives in the light of these questions:
- What’s one thing you could do this year to increase your enjoyment of God?
- What’s the most humanly impossible thing you will ask God to do this year?
- What’s the single most important thing you could do to improve the quality of your family life this year?
- In which spiritual discipline do you most want to make progress this year, and what will you do about it?
- What is the single biggest time-waster in your life, and what will you do about it this year?
- What is the most helpful new way you could strengthen your church?
- For whose salvation will you pray most fervently this year?
- What’s the most important way you will, by God’s grace, try to make this year different from last year?
- What one thing could you do to improve your prayer life this year?
- What single thing that you plan to do this year will matter most in 10 years? In eternity?
This Sunday, we have the joy of celebrating a baptism. Do pray for Lianne Ong, as she proclaims her faith in Christ and fellowship with His church. We will hear from Psalm 13 about how we can trust in our good God, even in the middle of our struggles and suffering. Please pray for Pastor Oliver as he prepares to preach God’s word. Pray also for me, as I will be preaching at Acts Baptist Church in the afternoon.