Saturday, December 31, 2016

Three Questions for 2017

How are you going to bring in the New Year? For the past several years, Kelly and I have gotten together with our friends Trish and Rholen. We eat too much, play 10 penny, and watch a movie together. Sometimes we share a little with each other and pray before we celebrate at midnight. 
I’m looking forward to that and remembered the 3 Questions in my Bible. They’re the perfect way to look back and evaluate the past year, and set goals for the new one.  

I have to admit they’re not original with me. They’re from a sermon my pastor, Jeff Doud, preached in 2014. I copied them from my sermon notes and have kept them on a 3x5 card ever since. My wording may be a little different than his, but I guess that’s a writer’s prerogative.  I hope they help you head into this New Year with fresh inspiration and determination.

Question #1: What one thing do I need to receive from God?
My answer to this in 2014 was “Confidence that comes from the infilling of the Holy Spirit, so I can forget myself.” I still need that, but with a New Year twist. 

This year I would say the one thing I need to receive from God is courage to disagree when lies are being spoken. I’m a people pleaser at heart and don’t like to argue or debate, but when people speak lies about God or misinterpret His Word (especially people claiming to be believers), I need boldness to lovingly declare His truth.

Question #2: What one thing do I need to let go?
In 2014 I said, “Control—over other people’s choice and circumstances.” As if I could change them anyway. Sigh. Feel my pain? 

This year I would say I most need to let go of comparisons. I work against being the best person I can be—the person God made me to be—by constantly comparing myself to others. In my mind, I’m always the loser. This year, I’d like to let go of that and be happy to be me.

Question #3: What one promise do I need to claim from His Word?
In 2014 I said, “Rest. And accept His invitation in Matt. 11:28-30, ‘Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.’”

This year I’m claiming Jesus’ promise that His Holy Spirit will speak through me when it comes time to tell others about Him. Even though we supposedly still have freedom of religion in the United States, it’s becoming less and less popular to speak the truth and it sometimes feels like we are standing on trial for our faith. 

“Whenever you are arrested and brought to trial, do not worry beforehand about what to say. Just say whatever is given you at the time, for it is not you speaking, but the Holy Spirit” (Mark 13:10-11) and “…do not worry about how you will defend yourselves or what you will say, for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what you should say” (Luke 12:11-12).

How will you answer these three questions? Make time to share with your spouse, family, or a dear friend, and make this a year of tremendous victory. You could even read this blog together before you talk about it!

Happy New Year !

#newyearsresolutions #goalsfor2017 #changesforthenewyear #outwiththeoldinwiththenew #oldmannewman


  1. Great questions to keep us from meandering into the New Year. Instead, we can step into it with purpose. Thanks Beth - Happy New Year!

  2. Great blog to begin the new year. I concur with all of your answers and agree that they're all tough to live out.
    Joanne via email

  3. I agree with all three of the points.
    Control is one of the big ones...and all that goes with being a parent...But .... yeah, we need to let go. Actually, we never were in control. It only seems that way.
    I have no problem calling truth, truth and so I am good on that one. But yes. It's needed.
    On the come to me all you who are weary. I just did a study of that passage. I always thought it was a call to lost people and only for them. But after studying it, I discovered it is for both believers and unbelievers.
    So, yeah, I also need to go to Jesus for my rest.
    Thanks for your thoughts.

  4. Thanks for your comments folks. I hope you will continue to ponder these things in the coming days.