• Today's Daily Devotion
What’s So “Happy” About A New Year?
WHAT DAY is it?” Ever asked that question? Have you noticed how on a busy project, hours and days seem to run together? Important things such as your anniversary ...

Rick Barton, Fire Safety Officer; Rick Barton Ministries, Gunnison, CO; Fellowship of Christian Firefighters International Ambassador-at-Large


Reviewing and Planning

WHAT DAY is it?” Ever asked that question? Have you noticed how on a busy project, hours and days seem to run together? Important things such as your anniversary, birthdays, dentist appointments, and even days of worship sneak up and sometimes slip by.

That’s one reason I like ringing in the New Year. It forces me to stop the clock and review the past year and plan goals for the new one.

How was your past year? Did you accomplish the things you’d set out to do? Did you get the garage painted? Take that long overdue vacation? Lose twenty pounds? More importantly, did you spend time in your Bible each day, mend that broken relationship, and devote more quality time to your spouse and kids?

“Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.” (Psalm 37:5, 6)

January is a great time for reflection and goal-setting. As some sage said, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” By writing down a list of goals for the upcoming year, you begin moving forward instead of treading water or just reacting to daily “emergencies.” You may not reach all your goals this year, but you can reach some, and that’s a good start. It seems popular to discount New Year’s resolutions as a waste of time. But are they?

What would you really like to happen this year? Write it down—even better, have lunch with your spouse or family and make a list. Start with your spiritual goals such as reading through the New Testament or entire Bible. Consider a regular daily time for prayer and joining a small group or Bible study. Then, write out your family goals: planning date nights with your spouse or child or taking a trip with your spouse, boys, girls, or parents. Setting financial goals may be needed. Do you need to get out of debt, eliminate credit cards, increase your church giving, or start a savings account for vacations or school expenses? And don’t forget about the household goals your spouse may have: a new window, painting the garage, etc.

All these examples are achievable goals if you commit them to the Lord Jesus! (Psalm 37:5). And even if you don’t reach them all this year, they become part of your long-range thinking.

At the end of the year, review your list. I’ll bet you’ll do better than you thought you would.


Lord, this year I want to use New Year’s for something more than party hats. After all, I don’t look so hot in one anyway. I want this to be a happy, Spirit-filled year.

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