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Christian Living

Spiritual Life

The Great Exchange

I started cleaning out closets before the New Year, then again afterwards. I knew it was time to tackle the chore. Sometimes it is hard to part with some of those items, but I was determined to get rid of the old and make way for some new clothing in my wardrobe.

I also gave some older Christmas decorations to my daughter. They served their purpose but those days are gone. It was time for a change.

We are told to look ahead to each new day with a fresh hope in what we can accomplish. In God’s Word, we see God as a "Now God." He is always doing a new thing. He says His mercies are new and fresh every morning. He says His grace is sufficient for this day. We can see that nothing is stale and nothing is stagnant in God’s Kingdom. He gave fresh manna daily for the people on their journey in the wilderness.

We can trust Him to give us what we need each day and look forward to living one day at a time. Old things have passed away.

In the New Year, I want to press toward the mark of the high calling in Christ Jesus, not looking back to what I did not get done. I like to reflect on what I did accomplish for God’s Kingdom and then move toward what I can do in this year.

I have seen people live in their pasts and it places them in dark and lonely arenas. There is no life in the sea of regrets and hurts. That is a place of hopelessness and despair. Why stay there? We have the choice to live in the grace of God while praying His word over our lives for blessings like success, health, and prosperity. We need a new mindset: we are no longer victims of our past circumstances. They will not rule our lives. We are more than survivors – we are conquerors.

How do we arrive at such a place to step into that new realm? It's determination to resist being pulled back or pulled down, and the realization that we can’t change the past. We can and do have the opportunity to live out today and our tomorrows holding onto God's Word.

This could be the dawning of grand and glorious days. Purpose in your heart to move forward and leave last year behind you.

This new year can and will be great. So prophesy good things over your own life. Echo what God’s Word says about today and the future. Put on the garment of praise instead of a spirit of heaviness. Think about taking the old clothes out of the closet and making room for the new ones. You will have to agree that a garment of praise instead of a garment of heaviness is a great exchange.

"Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland." (Isaiah 43:18-19, NIV)

"Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead." (Philippians 3:13, NIV)

Let us proclaim the Good News of God’s Word over our lives and the lives of others this New Year.

"The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed and qualified me to preach the Gospel of good tidings to the meek, the poor, and afflicted; He has sent me to bind up and heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the [physical and spiritual] captives and the opening of the prison and of the eyes to those who are bound, To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord [the year of His favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, To grant [consolation and joy] to those who mourn in Zion--to give them an ornament (a garland or diadem) of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, the garment [expressive] of praise instead of a heavy, burdened, and failing spirit--that they may be called oaks of righteousness [lofty, strong, and magnificent, distinguished for uprightness, justice, and right standing with God], the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified." (Isaiah 61:1-3, Amplified Bible)

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