New Year New Me

Posted on January 9, 2018 by Jeremy Napier in Article from The Messenger

What will you do with another year?  That was the question proposed to the Garage students last night. All of us have been blessed to see 2018 but none of us were guaranteed to see another year.

Unforeseen tragedies can often arise that can keep us from making it to the next year. 

I was reminded of that the other night driving home from the Marshall game with my family.   My wife and I, and our foreign exchange student Fon, were driving up 1st street about to head through a green light when a tow truck sped through the intersection, running a red light.  At first, I was furious! I called the tow company and immediately complained.  As we sat down to do our family devotions that night we reflected on the incident and how grateful we were that the tow truck had narrowly missed us.  Sharon brought up the fact that we had done something out of routine.  After the game, Sharon went to her office to pick up something which delayed our departure from the game about 30 seconds to a minute.  That one action possibly prevented us from driving through the intersection at the same time as the tow truck. 

The fact is, we are not promised another day or another year.  So as a family, we thanked God for saving us that evening.  At the Garage on Sunday I shared stories from the OT and NT that can help us as we start this new year.  I want to share one of those passages with you.  As you read, I encourage you to sit down with your family and discuss this together. 

Read: Luke 13:6-9

This whole parable illustrates the need for repentance, but, it also draws attention to God’s grace in allowing time for repentance.  God expected to find the fruit of repentance in Israel, but found virtually none. (Repent and then bear fruit).  He had not found fruit in it for a long time, so He planned to judge it because it was not fulfilling its purpose. Then we read here in 8-9 that God was gracious with Israel and gave it more time to bear fruit, one more year. 

 

  1. The Israelites received grace, we receive grace.  Insert yourself into the story. What if God was giving you one more year to repent and bear fruit? What would you need to repent of?
  1. What does it mean to bear fruit? What does that look like in one’s life?
  1. What would it take to bear fruit this year? What fruit do you need to bear personally and what steps do you need to take to do that?

As you discuss these questions, make the resolution to repent and bear fruit, because the God who is gracious and merciful enough to allow us to see another year deserves it.

--Jeremy