Updated: Jan 8
Happy New Year!!!
Hello and welcome to the Women of Prayer Devotional. We pray and hope that this devotional will be useful for you as we all grow in our spiritual walk with the Lord. This month "January" we are going to talk about New beginnings, this can mean many different things. The idea of starting over can be both exciting and intimidating.
For many people, the start of a new year is a natural time to think about making changes and setting new goals.
If you're looking to strengthen your relationship with God, now is the perfect time to make a fresh start.This week our topic is "New beginnings - Our relationship with God."
You will need a journal / notebook /diary / pens and markers.
Let’s take a step back and reflect on 2022. Some people have had their faith, finances, families, relationships, physical health and mental health tested to mention a few. Others lost their loved ones which has led them to question their faith in God. Most of the time when we begin a new year, we always look at the physical things that we want to change, for example some people want to lose weight by going on a diet and maybe joining the gym. Others may be starting a new hobby, a new business, or simply want to sort out their finances. Our spiritual life is very important as Christians, we need to continue to grow and yield fruit ,so let us take a moment and evaluate our lives.
SELF-EVALUATE YOUR SPIRITUAL LIFE
The following questions are designed to help you examine your spiritual life and to prayerfully seek God’s help in areas where you desire to grow.(This is not an exhaustive list and there are other questions you can ask yourself, this is just a guide to help you.)The Bible says, “Examine yourselves to see if your faith is genuine. Test yourselves. Surely you know that Jesus Christ is among you; if not, you have failed the test of genuine faith” (2 Corinthians 13:5). In other words, are you really a Christian? Or are you just pretending? You are really a Christian when you have put your faith in Jesus Christ and Christ alone to save you, and you are trusting in Him and walking with Him. It will show itself in the way that you live.
1.How is my personal relationship with God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit? 2.Do I have a growing desire to spend more time with God?
3.Am I spending appropriate time praying, reading and meditating on the God's Word?
4.Am I growing in my desire to obey and please God?
5.Do I obey God out of gratitude for God’s love or from guilt or fear?
6.Have I fully surrendered to the Holy Spirit?
7.Do I ask God to fill me each day with the Holy Spirit?
8.Are there areas I am holding back from God? Which ones? Why?
9. Am I more aware of the sins in my life and do I confess them?
10.Do I repent on a daily basis and receive forgiveness and cleansing from God?
11.Have I fully, truthfully repented of all past and current sins?
12.Do I really love God?
13.Am I forgiving others?
14.Do I love Jesus Christ and try to live like Christ?
15.Do I love others like Christ loves us?
16.Am I known as a Christian where I work?
17.Do people look at me to see Christ in me or they will be disappointed?
18. Am I seeking first God’s Kingdom or my own?
19. Do I talk with others about Christ?
20. Do I give at least as much to God as I spend on my own enjoyment?
This year, I would like to encourage you all to consider starting over with God. Putting aside the sinful nature to start again and having a real relationship with God. You may have received Jesus Christ as your Lord and personal Savior and yet you don’t know HIM because you don’t have a relationship with Him or you have backslidden or you don't even know who He is. The time for new beginnings is now.
4 ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” 5 He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”
What do we need to know about God?
God loves us and wants us to have a personal relationship with Him. God loved us first, even when we didn’t love him.
“In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” (1 John 4:10).God wants us to know Him, to have a personal relationship with Him, to spend time with Him in prayer, His Word.
What is wrong with us?
Our relationship with God is been broken by sin. We have all made choices that go against God’s will for our life. The result of our sinful choices results in spiritual death which is separation from God.
What did God do for us?
God provided a solution for our lost relationship and His name is Jesus Christ, who came to do what we could not do for ourselves. He came into the world to bring us to God , His Father.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16).
“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6).He died in our place to pay the penalty for our sins.
“For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit.” (1 Peter 3:18)
What do we need to do?
We must each personally trust Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. Our own efforts to earn God’s acceptance are inadequate. The Scripture says “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit.” (Titus 3:5).
We must admit our need for forgiveness for none of us are Holy,
“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23). We must receive Christ and His magnificent gift of salvation. “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name.” (John 1:12).
“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9).
Here are a few ideas for how to embrace a new beginning and grow closer to God:
Look a Bible believing church and attend regularly (pray and ask God to lead you to a place you can worship Him in Spirit and in Truth)
Seek out spiritual resources: Consider joining a Bible study group, finding a spiritual mentor, or reading books that will help you grow in your faith.
Make time for prayer and meditation: Set aside regular times each day to pray and reflect on God's Word.
Serve others: Look for ways to serve others in your community or abroad. This can be a powerful way to grow closer to God and make a positive impact in the world.
Find accountability: Consider finding a trusted friend or mentor who can hold you accountable and encourage you in your spiritual journey.
My dear sisters and brothers in Christ I would like to take this time to encourage you to search yourself honestly and make the decision to have a personal relationship with God today. You can begin by putting your faith in Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord. Say the prayer below
Dear God, I know that my sin has separated me from You. Thank You for sending Your Son to die in my place. I now trust Jesus to forgive my sins. I invite Him into my life as my Savior and Lord. Thank You for receiving me into Your eternal family. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
What’s Next?(Write this down)
Personal Thoughts & Reflection
What to do next?
How do I apply it in my life?