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The rotation of the earth, the position of the moon, and the movement of the earth around the sun are created in such a way that we can speak of days, months, and years. God Himself has provided these periods for us. God said (Gen.1:14): Let there be lights across the sky to distinguish day from night, to act as signs for seasons, days, and years.”  God also gave us the week (Ex. 34:21): For six days you are to work, but on the seventh day you are to rest.”

We experience days, months, seasons, and years. Without days separated by nights, we couldn’t say, “I will do it tomorrow,” or “It happened yesterday.” Days and nights are the result of the earth’s rotation. Months make it easier to refer to events. The practice of dividing calendar months into about 30 days originated because that’s approximately the time from one full moon to the next, namely 29 days, 12 hours, and 44 minutes. The seasons are repeated: summer, autumn, winter, spring, and then summer again. The period from one summer to the next is called a year. People sometimes say, “That person has 80 summers behind him,” meaning he is  80 years old. A year is the time it takes the earth to orbit the sun once. After each year, the stars, as seen from the earth, are in the same positions again. The earth rotates on an imaginary axis. This axis is not perpendicular to the orbit the earth follows around the sun, resulting in the phenomenon of  seasons.

We are at the beginning of  a new year again, a new era with new perspectives and challenges. God grants us days, months, and years, time that we must use wisely: (Eph. 5:15-16):  So be careful how you live. Don’t live like ignorant people, but like wise people. Make good use of every opportunity you have.

We make New Year’s resolutions but we tend to postpone them and in the end, nothing comes of them. We think we will do a good deed for someone later, play with our children later, visit our family and friends later, compensate people later for everything they’ve done for us – until it’s too late. Leo Buscaglia, a professor and motivational speaker, said: “If there’s something that needs to be done, you do it now! Because tomorrow may never be there. And especially that’s true with your relationships. The time for love is now, the time to do is now, not tomorrow.”

The writer of the letter to the Hebrews earnestly warns against postponing  (Heb.4:1-7):  Now, God has offered us the promise that we may receive that rest he spoke about. Let us take care, then, that none of you will be found to have failed to receive that promised rest.. … This is shown by the fact that God sets another day, which is called “Today.” Many years later he spoke of it through David in the scripture already quoted: “If you hear God’s voice today, do not be stubborn.”

What will happen in the new year, we do not know. But one thing we can be certain of: God is with us. Jesus is called Immanuel. It means (Matt. 1:23): God with us.

Lord, help us to use our time to your glory. Thank you that we can know You are with us. Amen.