What a wonderful Christmas season we just celebrated!

It was a season of wonder and excitement for many children as they eagerly waited to see what Santa was bringing them. Even we adults loved receiving a gift or two from our loved ones.

For my family, exchanging gifts is one way to celebrate the greatest gift we’ve ever received: the free gift of salvation.

My absolute favorite gift this Christmas came in the form of a new son-in-law, as my daughter got married just days before Christmas. I plan on cherishing that gift for years to come.

Thanks to Christmas, most of us have received new things … some better than others. For example, we love the new gifts we’ve received but not so much the new bills that accompany them.

We love the new holiday recipes we’ve enjoyed, but not the new pounds we’ve gained in eating that food.

Thankfully, Christmas is always followed by a New Year. It brings a time of new beginnings … a fresh new start.

As we reflect over the past year and look forward to the year to come, many of us make resolutions to better ourselves. We give ourselves the gift of starting new goals that we want to accomplish.

Our Heavenly Father wants to do new things in our lives as well. He gives us this promise in Isaiah 43:18-19 NIV: “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?”

He desires to teach us new things about Himself. He gives us new opportunities to minister for Him. He desires a closer relationship with each of us.

Have you failed to know God better this past year? Now is the time for a fresh new start. I pray that this new year will be a new beginning for you to build on that greatest gift we’ve ever received … a relationship with God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

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Susan Rodgers is a major with The Salvation Army in Florence.

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