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THIS MONTH
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NEW YEAR PEACE

At Christmastime we love to hear the angelic message of peace on earth. But the message thatís repeated in songs, carols, and sermons needs to be heard and heeded every day of the year. We continually hear reports of tragedies around the globe. And we may be troubled by personal problems and crises. We long for and pray for peace.

The Bible provides an answer to that plea for peace. To start with, the apostle Paul assured us in Romans 5:1 that it is possible to have peace with God. Yes, we disobedient and sinful creatures can enter into a state of reconciliation with God through faith in His Son Jesus (Rom 5:11).

We can enjoy emotional peace as we cast our cares on the Saviour (Philippians 4:6-7; 1 Peter 5:7). There is also the possibility of interpersonal peace. In Romans 12:18, Paul urged believers, ďAs much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.Ē Peace with others can become a reality. Best of all, we can anticipate global peace when our Saviour, the Prince of Peace, returns to establish His kingdom on earth.

Many of us make promises to ourselves to mark the beginning of a new year. We make pledges such as Iím going to save more, exercise more, or spend less time on the Internet. We begin the year with good intentions, but before long old habits tempt us to take up our old ways. We slip up occasionally, then more frequently, and then all the time. Finally, itís as if our resolution never existed.

Instead of choosing our own self-improvement goals, a better approach might be to ask ourselves: "What does the Lord desire of me?"  (Micah 6.8). Through the prophet Micah, God has revealed that He wants us to do what is right, to be merciful, and to walk humbly with Him. All of these things relate to soul-improvement rather than self-improvement.

Thankfully, we donít have to rely on our own strength. The Holy Spirit has the power to help us as believers in our spiritual growth. Godís Word says, He is able to "strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being" (Eph.3:16 niv).

So as we begin a new year, letís resolve to be more Christ-like. The Spirit will help us as we seek to walk humbly with God.