Today’s Bible readings can be found here: Micah 6:9-16 and Romans 14:1-9.

Romans 14:7 “For none of us lives for ourselves alone, and none of us dies for ourselves alone.”  (NIV)

            Just after the new year, we’re all full of ideas and goals that we want to achieve. Most of us look forward to the possibilities and opportunities that the next twelve months may bring. It’s as if we’ve all been given a clean sheet with the ability to start again. A lot of people get energized by the turning of the year, so it’s a good time to begin something novel, tackle something fresh, and get excited about the new path that we’re on.

            As people of faith, we look to God to give us guidance and reassurance. We hope that all we want to accomplish is aligned with His will. We desire to do something significant and feel that our lives are not just worthwhile, but actually meaningful. In other words, we seek to be all that we can be, using the gifts, skills, and resources that we have managed to accrue and develop. When we use them effectively and devote them to God, we sometimes discover new blessings and opportunities coming our way. Through the giving our lives to God, we honor the important work of His Son Jesus. By choosing to bring our lives into line with God’s will, we are given a deep sense of belonging to God, no matter what lies ahead.

            Let’s hope and pray that 2018 will be an exceptional year in which we can deepen our faith commitment to God and develop new ways of experiencing significance in all that we prepare and plan to do. Time is a wonderful gift that should never be wasted; life is an amazing blessing that should always be celebrated. May God bless all of your hope and dreams by allowing your plans to succeed.

Point to ponder:  What do I hope to accomplish this year? Have I truly asked God to help me?

Prayer: Lord Jesus, we thank You for allowing us to be restored to God’s favor, so we may truly experience belonging to Him. Guide us with Your Spirit throughout this year and help us to accomplish all that we seek to do. In Your Holy Name, we humbly ask and pray. Amen.

Today’s image is one of John’s latest drawings called “Celtic Communion.” If you would like to view a larger version, please click here.  If you would like to respond to today’s message, please send him an email to