How to Make the Most of the New Year December 31, 2016

IMG_2537A special hour-glass sits on the desk in my study. It was a gift from my family and means a great deal to me. It actually measures fifteen minutes of time and is a constant reminder to me that every moment counts. Minutes become hours. Hours become days. And days become – well, you get the idea.

Recently my dad passed along to me a powerful quote by Georg Christoph Lichtenberg (1742-1799): “The hour-glass is a reminder not only of time’s quick flight, but concurrently also of the dust to which we shall at last return.”

We measure time by years. By months. By events. By accomplishments. God measures time by days. God’s measurement of our lives is much different from our own. Repeatedly in Scripture the Holy Spirit emphasizes the days of our lives.

On the opening page of Holy Scripture the Lord established this basic unit of life, “and the evening and the morning were the first day” (Genesis 1:5). On the closing page of the Word of God we are promised an eternal day, for “there shall be no night there” (Revelation 22:5). Time will end with “the day of the Lord,” and will begin one endless, perfect day for believers.

Days matter. Every one of them. Life is not composed of long spans and large events. It is made up of short days. And the only way to make the most of the year is to give each day to God. So soon the days turn to years…

For all our days are passed away in thy wrath: we spend our years as a tale that is told. The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away” (Ps. 90:9-10).

Years ago I heard my pastor testify that when he and his wife were first married he said to her, “We don’t have one day to waste!” The older I get, the more I understand this urgency. Days pass so quickly.

365 days. What will you do with each of them?

Would you join Moses and make the words of the oldest psalm in the Bible your prayer for the new year? “So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts to wisdom…O satisfy us early with thy mercy; that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.” (Ps. 90:12, 14).

How do you make the most of the new year? One day at a time. We don’t have one to waste.

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