Sacred Holidays: A Devotional Leading Up To New Year's

Day 1 of 5 • This day’s reading



Whether you’ve come to this plan because it’s the New Year, or you just need to hit the reset button on this year and make it new today, I believe you will find the encouragement you need to live a more significant life. You ready? Let’s go!

One thing that holds our seasonal goals and dreams in check is remembering our most significant goal in all of life. This all-encompassing goal should operate as litmus test, helping us see if our seasonal goals are godly. 

Read Matthew 22:34-40 and note the greatest thing we can do.

The Pharisees stuck to the law and the rules perfectly, and wanted to make sure everyone else did too. We can get this way with our goals and expectations for ourselves, can’t we? We can get so caught up in what we “should” be doing and all our lists of “supposed tos” that we miss the whole point. 

Jesus narrowed it down for them—love God and love others. That’s it. Our lives, including our goals, should be about loving God and loving others. 

Look back over the goal or the word that you set for this new year or season, and ask the Father: “How does this help me love you and love others better?”

If it doesn’t, this might be a good time to reevaluate your goal. Know too, that our goals don’t have to be specifically spiritual to have spiritual implications. 

For example, I’m working on implementing healthier practices into my lifestyle because I want to live a strong, free, and long life. My family has faced serious medical issues this year and it’s been a wake up call to us all that health trumps comfort. This overarching goal of healthier practices greatly affects how I love God and love others. How? Because healthier practices affect my energy levels, my confidence, my sleep, and so on.. If, however, my goal was to be able to wear a two piece or have a six pack just for the vanity of it, then I’m missing the mark. At that point, my goal wouldn’t be about God or others, it would be about self.

Reflect on your goals and ask God how they help you love Him and others better. If they  doesn’t, then ask Him to show you how to adjust the goal so that it’s in line with His best plan for your life. Or perhaps ask Him to show you a better goal and a better way. 

As we wrap up today, read Matthew 20:26-28 and note the way Jesus approached His life’s work. 

Our aim in life is to be like Jesus and follow His way. His way is about others. Even Jesus—creator of all things, savior, redeemer, and a million other things—came to serve. His life was all about others. So our life should be too. 

Surrender yourself and your plans to your Father. Humble yourself, even physically if you are able, and open your hands, heart, and plans to the Father. Ask Him to show you the best way that allows you to better love and serve Him and others. 

We’ve glanced back, and tomorrow we will take our first step forward! You ready? Let’s go!