Week beginning: 29th December, 2013

By Graham Whitworth | Sunbury-on-thames

"Forgetting what is behind and straining towards what is ahead, I press on towards the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenwards in Christ Jesus."

(Philippians 3:13b-14)*

The timing of the year end is a human invention, but its frequency is part of God's creation, so perhaps He intends us to pause annually and take stock.

We should not forget all of our past. There will be choices we have made, lessons we have learned and blessings we have received. Hopefully during 2013 we have gained useful knowledge and experience from our CPD courses and professional work. When God had given a victory, Samuel set up a memorial stone and named it Ebenezer, saying, 'Thus far the LORD has helped us.' (I Samuel 7:10-12)**

Yet there are things we must leave behind us. We should "...throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles and ... run with perseverance the race marked out for us..." (Hebrews 12:1)***.

Let's carry with us from 2013 what will help us on our way, and discard anything that will hinder us. If there have been painful experiences, let us learn what God wants to teach us from them and move on. If there have been joyful times, let them encourage us to keep pressing on, but let's not cling to them.

Remember, God's mercies are new every morning (Lamentations 3:23) and 2014 will have 365 of them!

Prayer points

1) Give thanks to God for all that he has taught you in 2013, and ask him to remind you of the ways in which you have seen his grace at work in your life.

2) Commit the coming year into his hands, knowing that as you do so he will make your path straight.

*NIV 1984 **NIV Anglicised 2011 ***NIV 2011