2023 is upon us. How’s it going so far? What hopes, plans, or goals do you have? Any expectations? Can you trust God in the new year and beyond? Paul said in Romans 14:7-8, “For none of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself. For if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s.” What does that mean for you today and as you start a new year?
Because you belong to Him, you can trust Him. He always treats His stuff well. He never misplaces His stuff, makes mistakes with His stuff, or forgets His stuff. We may outgrow our hobbies and toys, but God doesn’t outgrow what is His. There is belonging with God and He takes care of His things. You may carelessly leave your tools out in the rain or not put them back where they belong, but that’s not how it is with God and His stuff. God doesn’t trade in His stuff for newer models, and when His stuff breaks, He is there to fix and mend. God takes care of His stuff.
If you are in Christ, you are not your own, you are bought with a price, “not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot (1 Peter 1:18-19).” You are God’s stuff, to do with as He will. You belong to Him and He is in charge, He has a perfect plan – how do you fit into it? Life is not about your plans, but as James said, “If the Lord wills, we will go here and there and do such and so.” Because we are the Lord’s, we do not set our minds on what’s best for us, we look to the Lord and what He says is best for us. We do not need to worry or fear what happens in this life or the next. We can trust Him because we are His. The purpose of life is to live to the Lord. Whether you live or die, it’ll be OK. “To live is Christ, to die is gain.” Let His wisdom rule over you and all parts of your life and death give Him glory.
Have courage in the new year. Whether you live or die, make it your aim to please Him and live for Him. At the end of the day, “neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:38-39).” Devote your whole life and death to God this year, starting now. You are not your own lord but He is Lord. Spend your life in His service and die when He says, “It’s time.” When you are healthy or sick, rich or poor, in life and death, He has absolute rule over you, in this world and the next. You can trust Him because you belong to Him.