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Devotional by Ray Stedman – A New Beginning – A daily devotion for December 31

Topic:A New Beginning

After this Job lived a hundred and forty years; he saw his children and their children to the fourth generation. And so he died, old and full of years.
Job 42:16-17

Ray Stedman devotion
Ray Stedman

The book of Job ends on a note of contentment and peace. Job was probably about seventy when the book opens, so he is an old man. What a picture of peace, a contented man. God had greatly blessed him.

Before us stretches a new year, a new beginning. The old is past, put away forever. God invites us always to forget about all the distrust and fears, all the anxieties of the past, all the resentments we have been holding against others, all the grudges, all the criticisms–to put them away and begin again.

The question that hovers over us as we close this book (and I feel it deeply in my own heart) is, On what basis am I going to live in this new year? Will it be on the old basis of it-all-depends-on-me, do-it-yourself goodness before God, trying my best to be pleasing to God and meaning it with all my heart but never realizing the depths of evil with which I have to deal? Or will I accept the gift of God that is waiting for me every day, fresh from His hand, a gift of forgiveness, of righteousness already mine, of a relationship in which He is my dear Father and I am his cherished, beloved son, and in which I therefore have provided for me all I need, all day long, so that I may say no to evil and yes to truth and right?

Will it be on that basis? If it is, this will be a year in which my life will be characterized by peace, fragrance, and beauty. And so will yours. Or, if we insist on living it on the same old basis, we will find ourselves like these friends of Job, arousing the anger and the wrath of God. Though He is patient and merciful, our only escape will be to repent of our evil and rest upon the righteousness of our perfect substitute and return to God for the blessing that He is waiting to give. That is the choice before us, every one of us. How are we going to live in this new year?

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Lord, thank You for this new year that lies before me. I choose You. I choose to depend on You, trust You, and accept from Your hand all that You would give me.

Life Application
Before us stretches a new year, a new beginning. The old is past, put away forever. On which one of the two bases are we going to live in this new year?

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