When the calendar turns its page to a brand-new year, we all believe with grand anticipation that it is time to begin again. Just as the calendar presents a blank page, we hope that a blank page is what life is offering us as well.
We all deeply desire that we will be given the opportunity to start afresh and anew; we long to be free from the mistakes of last year and the year before that and the year before that.
The truth is, January has no intrinsic power to change a person's life. The glaring facts are that a new year is simply another collection of 365 or 366 days. This year will be filled with disappointments, challenges, mountains, valleys, deserts and discouragement, just as every year before it has been.
However, God has given us a game plan for every glorious day that is ours, whether that particular day signals the beginning of a new year or just an ordinary day in March.
Every night, when the clock strikes midnight, you don't turn into a pumpkin, but you are the recipient of a brand-new, shining gift. We all receive the same amount of this gift regardless of weight, age, education, beauty, job description or marital status.
When each new day raises its sleepy head, you are the sole owner of 1,440 of the most powerful commodities ever known in the history of mankind. At precisely one second after midnight, every single day of your life, heaven opens its windows and gives to you 1,440 untouched and valuable minutes to spend. How you spend your minutes is entirely up to you. Time is free, but it is priceless!
"This is the day that the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it" (Ps. 18:24).
Every day that has been graciously given to you by the Lord is a new opportunity to frame your day with exuberant and sincere praise.
God gave you this day and designed it especially with you in His mind. Every day of your life the Father has a plan for you that will always include a liberal dose of praise. If you want the assurance that you are participating in God's will for your life on a daily basis it is vital that you start your day with praise, that you fill it with worship and that you end it with thanksgiving.
From the first moment of consciousness to your last waking thought at night, make it a choice of your will to only magnify the Lord and never question Him. We are not a people who blame the Lord, but we are a people who bless the Lord!
These are your minutes ... all 1,440 of them ... so spend them well. Spend them on something of importance and something that actually matters. This day will never come again, and a day that is given to the blahs is never returnable. When you give a day of your very short life to discouragement or anger, you have just wasted 1,440 pieces of pure gold.
Rejoicing is an act of your will and you must choose to do it. There will be days when the worship instinctively wells up within you, and a bastion of the blahs would not be able to hold it back. But there will be many more days when you must choose to rejoice and command yourself to whistle a happy tune. There will be weeks when you must command yourself to sing or to utter words of thanksgiving out loud.
"Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless His holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits" (Ps. 103:1, 2).
David, who wrote these words, was a common man with an uncommon heart. He struggled with emotional outrage just as you and I do. He stood on the edge of the black pit of depression times too numerous to count, and thus he knew life could be stark and frustrating. David chose to command his soul, which is the birthplace of our thoughts, emotions and personality, to bless the Lord.
This phrase is constructed in the imperative, which means it is not an option but that it is a definitive command. David knew what you and I often ignore: praise will reform the vitality of a new day and a new year in a manner that absolutely nothing else has the power to do so!
You have been given 1440 miraculous minutes every day in which to worship the Lord. Understanding the power of the 1440 means no matter what I am doing—whether it is the laundry, grocery shopping, taxiing my children or fixing dinner—I am rejoicing!
What is the greatest tragedy in life? Is it cancer or death? Is it bankruptcy or losing your home? I believe that the greatest tragedy in life is being alive without joy!
If you live to be 90 years old and use your 1440 every day to honor God and serve people, you will still discover that is a very small slice in eternity.
"He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end" (Eccl. 3:11, BSB).
I have heard it said that none of us is allowed to choose the day we will die, but all of us have the option of choosing how we will live the days we have been given. Your 1440 are all yours. Put your hands in the air every day of 2020 and start to worship!
Carol McLeod is an author and popular speaker at women's conferences and retreats, where she teaches the Word of God with great joy and enthusiasm. Carol encourages and empowers women with passionate and practical biblical messages mixed with her own special brand of hope and humor. She has written five books: No More Ordinary, Holy Estrogen!, The Rooms of a Woman's Heart, Defiant Joy! and Refined: Finding Joy in the Midst of the Fire. Her teaching DVD The Rooms of a Woman's Heart won the Telly Award, a prestigious industry award for excellence in religious programming.
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