One key to a good New Year

It’s New Year’s Eve and I just wrote an email to my kids wishing them a Happy New Year. I wanted to be sure to tell them I love them, to remind them to not imbibe too much and be safe tonight. Then I wrote, “May this next year be a year in which the Lord gets his due and we don’t!” It kinda had a ring to it, and because my mind instantly flooded with more thoughts than I felt was wise to “preach” to my children, I thought I’d elaborate on it a bit here, that is, if you care to hear my end of the year musing/preaching about God and about us.

“May this be a year in which the Lord gets his due and we don’t!”  His due is glory and our due is whatever is the opposite of glory. What he deserves is praise and what we deserve is, well, not praise. I can’t honestly say that this summarizes all of my thoughts from this year, but looking back, I sure wish it had. I’m not under any condemnation or anything, I think I’m pretty much up to date on confessing my sins to him (and sometimes to others), trusting that he forgave me each time I let myself (and him) down. But there’s no doubt that he didn’t always get the glory he deserves from me.

There’s another saying of mine (I don’t think I stole it from anyone else, but maybe I did so far back that I don’t remember it) – “The goal of goals is the glory of God.” That is, the mother of all goals is for God to be glorified in, through, and around our lives. I think it’s one of those real big ideas in the Bible, and it’s a good idea to keep this big idea in mind when – well – pretty much all the time.

We’d all be better off if, before we went off and did anything, we asked:  “What does God get out of this? How does this point to and reflect his glory? Is this for my gain or his glory?” In 2012 there have been more occasions than can be counted in which I either failed to ask that question or failed to care about the answer. Did he always get his due from me? Maybe the better question is – Did he even often get what was due him? Well, I guess that’s between him and me, but it’s important to think about anyway as we move forward to the next 365 days full of opportunities to give him what’s due him.

“May this be a year in which the Lord gets his due and we don’t!”  By the last part, I mean that it would be a good year if we don’t get what we deserve – the operative term being, “deserve.” You’re an American-Dreamer if pretty much all your dreams are about you, your advancement, and your prosperity and you have the mistaken notion that you “deserve” for those dreams to be fulfilled. I think you’re mistaken if you think you’re entitled to happiness and contentment, and that God or the world or your boss or you spouse owes it to you. I think that’s why so many people are unhappy, because they think that happiness is their due, when in actuality our due, as twisted humans, is judgment. “The wages of sin,” said Paul is, “death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus.” What we deserve, is death. Death is what we’ve earned, but what he gives to us for free, if we’ll take it, is life. And if we’ll take that life and live it in such a way as to give him his due, it has the potential for being a quite nice life in this place, with the promise of being very very nice in the next place.

Happy New Year!

2 Replies to “One key to a good New Year”

  1. Barney, thanks for the timely word! I’ve been feeling sorry and mad for not getting something I really wanted and hoped for. I am learning the American dream is different than God’s dream. I needed exactly what you wrote to get my heart right with God. How shallow, temporary and unfulfilling are the things the world offers. Thank You Lord for not giving me what I deserve and what I think I am entitled to. Happy New Year Barney


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