Sunday, January 1, 2023


Gordon Crook, Pastor
Grace Assembly - Wichita, Kansas

As we approach the end of 2022, and the beginning of 2023, we can think about what a new year will bring. Many will make New Year’s resolutions, because they see the new year as a potential for renewal. I am not much of one to make New Year’s resolutions, but I do like to think about renewal, because our God is a God of renewal.

But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. Isaiah 40:31.

As I get older, I find that I need renewed strength in the natural, but even more I need renewed strength spiritually. There are always spiritual lessons to be learned from the natural things. Just as our natural bodies need renewal (sleep, food and water), God is able to renew our spiritual strength through His Word and prayer.

We have a tendency to start thinking we can do anything we put our minds to. At least, that is what we are told. The truth is that we often fail at that. Maybe we start out really well, but lose strength or desire or just lose sight of what we need to do. It is only as we allow God to renew our strength that we can truly go on.

Spiritually, this is the only way we can continue to walk the Christian walk of faith. We must continually look to God for our strength and to renew us in our walk. Then we can continue without fainting (falling, failing or quitting).

As we walk through this world, we are wearied by the world, and we are dragged down by the world and it’s ways. The news alone very day will weary most. We need every day to look to God to renew us and cleanse us through His Word and by His Holy Spirit. “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.” Psalms 51:10. “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” Romans 12:2.

This is a daily need, not just a Sunday morning need. It is good that we gather on Sunday morning, or whenever you gather with your church family. However, the need for renewal is daily. We cannot suffice with only a weekly renewal. If you are able to congregate with other believers, you should, and you will find renewal in that. We encourage and uplift one another and God’s Word renews our spirit. “Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s.” Psalms 103:5.

While God does often give us renewal in the natural when we need it to serve Him, it is the renewal of the inner man that is most important. So, as we grow older, our natural bodies begin to fail and to lose strength, but our inner man should be growing stronger. “For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.” 2 Corinthians 4:16. “And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;” Ephesians 4:23.

We have an enemy that would cause us to fall by the wayside, and abandon our race. One of the things that I find so important in God’s Word is the encouragement that this race is not in vain, and that it is coming to an end. God is always faithful to His promises. That renews my spirit.

As we approach the new year, let us consider the importance of continual spiritual renewal. This is accomplished by staying in God’s Word. It is not something that we do by following some kind of repetitive mantra or chant, but it is the increase of the life of Jesus in us. “And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:” Colossians 3:10. 

Seek the Lord every day and stay tuned into His Word so that you can find renewal in the new year and always. No need for a New Year’s resolution, just pick up your Bible and study, and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal renewing truths to you every day. You will never regret it.