Many pastors, evangelists and famous Christian entertainers shared encouraging messages on new year’s day to bring hope to believers worldwide for 2019.
As one year ends and a new one begins, some people make resolutions or create vision boards while others search for self-help books in an effort to find direction and bring order to their lives.
Here’s a list of seven new year’s messages from various leaders in the Christian faith that include a prayer from Michael W. Smith about humility and God’s mercies, and Toby Mac talking about life lessons.
Michael W. Smith
Beginning our list is legendary Christian artist Michael W. Smith. In 2018, he released an impactful album titled Surrounded, which spearheaded a massive concert in Nashville,
Tennessee, where he said he felt “called” to usher in a great awakening throughout America.
Now, at the top of the new year, Smith revealed that he would be taking a break from social media, “for many good reasons,” but he wanted to share one final post to encourage others before taking his hiatus.
“I leave you with a word from my good friend Scotty Smith … This is my prayer for all of us … So good. Love you all and happy new year!,” the iconic Christian musician said on Instagram Tuesday.
He kicked off the prayer titled “A Prayer for a Gospel-Shaped 2019” by quoting Jeremiah 9:23-24:
“Don’t let the wise boast in their wisdom, or the powerful boast in their power, or the rich boast in their riches. But those who wish to boast should boast in this alone: that they truly know me and understand that I am the Lord who demonstrates unfailing love and who brings justice and righteousness to the earth, and that I delight in these things. I, the Lord, have spoken!”
He added: “Heavenly Father, whether or not 2019 is going to be a ‘happy’ new year remains to be seen. But as in 2018, there won’t be a day this year you’ll fail to send us new mercies, give us sufficient grace, and be at work for our good. Because you have hidden our lives in Christ, your love will be the most constant, liberating, and reliable reality in our lives. You will delight in us, quiet us with your love, and rejoice over us with singing 24/7 (Zeph. 3:17). May this good news be more precious and real to us than anything else.”
The prayer then focused on the words spoken by God through the prophet Jeremiah as a declaration for the new year.
“May it be a year filled with knowing you better, resting in your grace, and serving you more faithfully. Though the temptation for things like approval, riches, and control will continue, may the joy of knowing you seize our hearts, shape our schedules, and consume our days,” he continued. “May we dance and suffer, work and play, serve and give all to your glory. Reveal more of Jesus to our hearts, bring Gospel-renewal to our churches, and advance your Kingdom in our cities. Indeed, may the Gospel compel us to love mercy, work for justice, and walk humbly with you until the day you take us Home.”
Smith concluded the prayer by petitioning himself and those reading to live each day of 2019 resting in God’s sovereign rule while loving well, forgiving, remaining repentant and living with expectancy in Jesus’ return.
In his message for 2019, evangelist Franklin Graham, who’s also president of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, urged people not to put their trust in the arms of flesh but look to God instead.
“As we enter a new year, we need God more than ever. The complexities of the world’s problems are immeasurable. Whether we want to admit it or not, it seems that we are back in an arms race with Russia and China. It seems as though every region of the world is in turmoil. Politicians and leaders don’t have the answers,” Franklin declared on Facebook.
Similar to his father, the late Billy Graham, Franklin is vocal about current affairs and people’s need for Christ. He proceeded to provide what he believes in the solution to all of the social unrest.
“As we come to 2019, pray that our nation would turn its eyes to God and His Son Jesus Christ who paid the debt of sin with His own blood. His wisdom is limitless and His love is unfailing,” he shared.
“For those who have put their faith and trust in Christ, you can take comfort in knowing that no matter what comes, He has promised, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you’ (Hebrews 13:5). Are you beginning 2019 with Him?” Franklin asked.
Christian author and speaker Joyce Meyer also used the new year as an opportunity to share what she believes God can do for others in 2019.
“God created us to need new beginnings — places where we can release our faith and say, ‘This is a place of new beginnings for me, a place to have a fresh start.’ The dawn of a new year is always a good time for a fresh start,” Meyer wrote on Facebook.
The popular televangelist wanted people to know that they can experience the “abundant life” talked about by Jesus in the Bible. However, she insisted that it has to go hand in hand with the decision to “let go of the past.”
“Unless you refuse to go on the way you have been, no change will come. God wants to change things for you, but He is waiting for your total cooperation,” Meyer said.
“So if you want to experience God’s ‘new thing’ this year, release your faith right now and say, ‘This is a place of new beginnings for me.’ Then watch for the results,” she added.
Well-known Christian apologist Ravi Zacharias also shared a brief message of encouragement on Instagram for the start of the new year.
“Wishing you a blessed #NewYear and may God’s abiding presence be with you,” he wrote. “The one hope that still stands tall is the hope of Jesus who changes us from within to see the gloom without and breathe new possibilities into it.”
The Indian-born Canadian-American who has authored or edited over 25 books went on to share another post for the new year that included a quote from Anglican hymn writer and poet of the 1700s Henry Francis Lyte.
“Hold then thy cross before my closing eyes/Speak through the gloom, and point me to the skies/Heaven’s morning breaks, and earth’s vain shadows flee!/In life, in death, O Lord, abide with me!,” Zacharias quoted Lyte’s Hymn “Abide With Me.”
Lyte composed the song during a moment of despair after developing tuberculosis at age 54. The biblical link for the hymn is believed to be Luke 24:29 where the disciples asked Jesus to abide with them for it is toward evening and the day is spent.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Jeannie Law