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  • Billy Walker

A better new year!



SOUTHGATE – I was talking with a young man from our church regarding how 2023 had gone, and what his goal was for 2024. At some point, he made a statement which caused me to stop our conversation for a moment. He had concluded that what he desired for the next 12 months was, “better, not easier.” I paused so I could quickly write that down. While it is February, the year is still in its infancy.


For some, you were ready to kick last year to the curb well before the Holiday season. For others, it may have been full of the favor of God. For most, it probably falls somewhere in between. Some highs, some lows, some incredible blessings, and some challenging difficulties. Which is maybe why that statement hit me with such impact. No matter where you fall on the spectrum – you can always aspire for BETTER! Scripture shares with us.   

 

Psalm 84:10 gives us the launching pad for pursuing “better” in the months ahead of us. A single day in your courts is better than a thousand anywhere else! I would rather be a gatekeeper in the house of my God than live the good life in the homes of the wicked.”


The more significance we place on the presence of God in our lives, the more confidence His presence will bring, and the more influence His presence will have! While we all are aware of God’s presence, if you’re like me and it took you more than two years to read the “One Year Bible,” then a gentle reminder of the power that comes with that presence may not be a bad idea. We can get so engrossed in the work and busyness of ministering out to others that we fail to allow much ministry into our own hearts and minds. 

 

Remember when Jesus and His disciples made their way to Mary and Martha’s home for dinner? One sister was in the kitchen seemingly doing all the work, while the other sister was sitting at the feet of Jesus taking in every word. As Luke shares the story in his gospel, I can’t help but imagine the clanging of pots and pans getting noisier as Martha endeavored to make her point without having to…make her point.


But then, she’d had enough and actually interrupted the gathering. “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself?  Tell her to help me!” Jesus responds with “Martha, Martha.”


Remember when your mom called you by your full name? Never good – kind of the direction I feel this conversation going.


“You are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed – or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is (wait for it…) BETTER, and it will not be taking away from her.” (Luke 10:38 – 42) 


I gave this as a benediction to my church earlier this year, and I share it with you as we bring this article in for a landing. 

 

  • My prayer for you in 2024, is to have moments this year where peace comes flooding over you in a way that is so overwhelming there can be little doubt as to where it came from and who sent it your direction.

  • My prayer for you in 2024, is to have a request so incredibly answered, it’s as if it was from God specifically just for you.

  • My prayer for you in 2024, is that you would experience moments where you are so keenly aware of the presence of God, your eyes fill with tears, you are so overwhelmed by His love.

  • My prayer for you in 2024, is that you would have a greater understanding that you are never alone, but that the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the abiding Love of our Heavenly Father, and the communion of the Holy Spirit, not only goes with you…but before you. 


Not Easier…Just Better! 

 

 




ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Billy Walker is the Lead Pastor of Calvary Church in Southgate, MI and Vice-President of the Billy Walker Evangelistic Association. He and his wife Laurie live in the Downriver area of Michigan.




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