Having just celebrated Christmas, we begin a brand New Year.  The New Year is a time of making resolutions, or promises, to do better and make improvements in our life.   We make start.  These usually last but a few weeks, a month at most, and we return to our normality.  The New Year is a time of uncertainty.

It is also a time of reflection and a time of hope.  A time when we remember the good times, try to forget the bad, and hope for a better future.  We look at the peaks and valleys of our life in the past year and hope for better in the coming year.

Scripture tells us not to concern ourselves with the past but to learn from it, but not dwell upon it.  To not worry about tomorrow, for it may never come.  That leaves only today.

First, what can God do through us as we follow Him in 2014?

God told Paul, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”  Do you ever feel that God can’t use you because you aren’t qualified?  If so you are in good company.  Most of us feel the same way.  Most of those in Scripture who were used by God, had a personal struggle or challenge of one kind or another.

Moses and Mary didn’t feel qualified for the work God called them to do.  Moses stuttered. Timothy had ulcers. Hosea’s wife was a prostitute.  Amos’ only training was in the school of fig-tree pruning.  Jacob lied.  David had an affair.  Solomon had too many wives and concubines. Abraham and Sara were too old. Peter was impulsive.  John had a temper. Paul was a murderer as was Moses.  Jonah ran from God. Jeremiah was depressed.  Noah had a drinking problem. Jesus was too poor and wasn’t schooled in the right religious institutions.

God loves us just as we are and He uses us just as we are.  Everyone that God ever used had their weaknesses, sins, and failings.  But, they were available remembering what God had done for them.  Are you available?

GOOD NEWS:  Jesus was born our Savior.  Let us celebrate the New Year by remembering, and spreading, the good news. Let us rejoice, be joyful, and be full of joy in knowing our Savior was born for us.

PRAISE:  Like the angels, the shepherds and the Magi, let us sincerely praise Him this year in all we do, every day.

PEACE:  Matt. 6:25-32 from the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus tells us not to worry.  It is futile to worry.  Worry causes us to have misplaced priorities.  Worry has consequences:  physically, mentally, and spiritually and it has no value.  If we worry, it shows that we have unbelief and little faith in God’s promises.  He wants us to have peace and we receive peace through Jesus and God’s grace.

CHOICE:  Life is full of choices.  This year will be full of choices.   We will make some good choices and some bad choices.  But, right now, you have a choice to make – –  a choice to serve the Lord.  The only other choice is to serve Satan.

You have a choice to be a better servant.  I challenge you to re-dedicate you life to Him right now

You either serve the world (for your glory) or God, for His glory.  Make the right choice daily.

PRAY:  for your brothers and sisters protection and safety; marriages; spouses; children; the unsaved; the sick; the hurting; the abused; the addict; all those needing love, peace and comfort that only our Lord can give.

Nobody can take us away from the Lord (John 10:27-29).

We are saved by God’s grace, not by our works (Eph. 2:8-9)

We are to serve one another in love (Gal. 5:13)

God has a plan for each and every one of us.  God is always here.  He said he will never leave you nor forsake you.  He is the same yesterday, today and forever.  He has your entire life in His hands.  It is your choice whether you want Him to control you and your life or the world.

My prayer for you in 2014 is that each of you will be given peace, comfort, mercy, love and forgiveness; find rest for your souls; be given MORE faith and trust in our Lord; for your prayer life to become stronger; your temptations less and your love for the Lord to grow stronger as you walk with Him grows closer.

Detective Gene Hall retired in 1997 after 30 years of service.  Gene has been a police instructor since 1973.  He is a Coordinator with the Criminal Justice Institute (Police Academy), Palm Beach State College.  Five years ago he was led to start a ministry for LEO’s called “thebibleandtheshield.com”.  He speaks to Christian groups about the need for outreach to police officers and their families.  This led to guest speaking engagements with Florida Men of Integrity/Iron Sharpens Iron conferences and representing the Fellowship of Christian Peace Officers in South Florida.  He is an active member of the American Police Chaplains Association and affiliated with the Southern Baptist North American Mission Board.  In 2013 he became the first volunteer Chaplain with the Palm Springs (FL) Police Department.

Contact Chaplain Gene at:  [email protected] or thebibleandtheshield.com.