[My prayer for you, dear reader, is that 2017 will be a monumental year in your walk with the Lord Jesus Christ–whether that means that this is the year that you trust Him fully, or follow Him more completely, may Jesus be the cause and effect for your life. Happy New Year!]

I love to read. Some would even call me “bookish” and that’s all right by me. There is just something about turning the page of a book. It is satisfying to close one chapter and start another—to complete one text and begin a new one. What wonder the memories of the old book provide, and what mystery lies ahead with the new?

Today we are turning the page on 2016, and beginning to consume 2017. All of the ups and downs of the previous year are but a memory. The new year stands before us fresh, untried, and unsullied by the marks of time.

I would like to encourage you today to determine a couple of things for the new year before us; things that are completely up to you. Sure, you have no control over the accidents and happenings of the year. You may have an idea or a plan, but there are certain things that are out of your control. So, to make 2017 one of the best years ever, let me suggest that you first decide that you will dedicate each day to the service of Christ Jesus. It’s something that He wants, and it would allow you to have fewer regrets and more positive outcomes at the end of the day.

Secondly, might I suggest that you shower each day of the new year with prayer. Not only when you know of or hear about a special need, but really praying, every day, as often as you think to pray. Then when the next new year rolls around, let us look back and see what kind of difference these two simple decisions have made over 2017.

  “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”  – 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18