The Holy Spirit in the New Year

Titus 3:4-7 (NLT)

4 When God our Savior revealed his kindness and love, 5 he saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit. 6 He generously poured out the Spirit upon us through Jesus Christ our Savior. 7 Because of his grace he made us right in his sight and gave us confidence that we will inherit eternal life.
How is it possible that [2023] is over, and we’ve begun a new adventure? Do you have regrets, like me, about uncompleted projects or unspoken words? Did you make resolutions which were unrealistic, make none at all, or did you, like me, forget to include God 1st in your resolutions?

The scripture from Titus tells us that God through Jesus will enter our lives and regenerate us through the renewing of the Holy Spirit. I think this is God’s way of keeping in touch with us even when we stray far away. I was baptized at 12 after growing up in the church. It was a quiet experience, and I sometimes felt disappointed because I didn’t have the “mountain top” experience of many believers. I sometimes had a difficult time feeling that I was “saved” as had those others.

Recently, I’ve felt that the Holy Spirit is working in my life more than I’ve ever noticed before. I try to be more aware and “listen” better to understand what He is telling or showing me. I now believe that my quiet acceptance of Christ isn’t any less powerful that those more dramatic ones. God calls us, through the Holy Spirit, at different times. Some receive God’s message quickly, while others have a slow development of their faith.

In this new year [2024], I want the Holy Spirit to work more strongly in my life.
This new year I will make one special resolution to be more attentive to the compelling voice of the Holy Spirit and to strive to follow His lead. I know I can only accomplish this by reading the Bible more, listening better and most of all by letting God take the lead.

My hope of regeneration and renewal can only happen with God’s guidance so that by the end of [2024], I will be more in tune with the Holy Spirit’s direction for my life.

Prayer: Glorious Father, allow us to understand you more as we renew our connection to the Holy Spirit. Let 2023 be the year that we fully embrace the life you have planned for each of us. In Jesus’ holy name, Amen.
Betty Lou Harris, Franklin United Methodist Church Wellsburg, WV, Administrative Council Chair and Certified Lay Speaker
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