A NEW BEGINNING
“Then God said to Noah, ‘Come out of the ark, you and your wife and your sons and their wives. Bring out every kind of living creature that is with you—the birds, the animals, and all the creatures that move along the ground—so they can multiply on the earth and be fruitful and increase in number on it.’“
You know the story of Noah’s Ark. The world was immersed in evil, so God decided to destroy the earth and everyone in it. Except, there was this faithful man, Noah, and his family who would be saved. The Lord gave some very unusual instructions to Noah. “Build an ark for yourself and your family, make it big enough for animals of every species to occupy it. And when the storm comes you and your family will be protected.” What a trial of faith this must have been for Noah! These instructions were frankly, “weird!” Noah had never even seen rain before. But Noah was obedient and followed God’s instructions. And when the rains came God shut Noah, his family, and animals of every kind into the ark. And thus began a difficult and uncomfortable and long journey. Adrift upon the waters. Hour after hour, day after day, week after week. The smells, the cramped quarters, the discomfort, would it ever end? But finally, the journey was over. God had brought Noah through. It was time to leave the ark of safety and rebuild the world!
1. Discuss how it would feel to get instructions like this from God. How would it effect your faith, your comfort, your schedule, your whole life?
2. Discuss how it would feel to be adrift in the ark (they were on board for around a year)! How would this try your patience? How would this test your faith?
3. Finally, in our scripture verses, it was time for Noah to come out? Describe how this would make you feel. (Fearful? Excited? Maybe even nostalgic as they had to totally rebuild the world).
1. At the beginning of this new year, we face a new world. And God is calling you out into it. Decide now to face this new world! And decide to walk every step of the way with the Lord, Jesus Christ.
2. God told Noah to bring his family with him out of the ark. Who will you bring with you in your journey into this new year? How will you pray for your friends and family?
3. Noah had a lot of rebuilding to do. What is God calling you to rebuild in the new year?
4. We do not know what the future holds, but we know who holds the future. Make sure and trust in the Lord as you launch into the new year. He will never let you down!
“As dawn breaks on a new year, I pray for enough scarcity to keep me prayerful, yet enough abundance to keep me thankful. I pray for enough solitude to keep me thoughtful, yet enough accountability to keep me faithful. I pray that all I hold dear (my health, my family, and my friends), would not be more dear to me than God. I pray to be fully surrendered unto the Lord. And I pray that the year 2023 would be one where the name of Jesus Christ is name is honored above all, for He is the source of all true grace, peace, prosperity, and love.”