It seems that almost everyone likes to be first and generally, all of us appreciate new things. With a last name like “Zinn,” I seldom have to worry about being first in any group.

While there is something about most of us that initially resists change, we usually looked forward with great anticipation to new experiences and events. We are now enjoying a new year with the opportunity for a “do-over” in different areas of our lives.

Someone has wisely said, “If you want to be blessed in the new year, always give God the first part of every day, the first day (Sunday) of every week and the first fruits (10 percent) of all your increase (income).” It has been said, too, that the first to apologize is the bravest, the first to forgive is the strongest and the first to forget (an injustice) is the happiest. Now that is some great advice, though difficult to practice. However, God provides strength for such challenges.

There are several first and new things found in the Bible, many of which we all will have the privilege of acknowledging and/or experiencing in the new year. In the first book of the Bible, the first chapter and first verse, God makes it clear that He created all things (Genesis 1:1). He created the heaven and the earth and prepared them to be inhabited. Later, He created the fowls that would fly in the heaven, the creatures of the seas and animals of the earth.

God’s most magnificent creation was the first man who was made from the dust of the earth and the first woman who was made from the rib of the man. He performed the first marriage when he brought the woman, Eve, and presented her to Adam to be his wife. Genesis 1:27 says, “Male and female created He them.” God commanded in Genesis 2:24 that “a man leave his father and mother, and cleave unto his wife” in marriage, and God’s plan has never changed despite the changing culture.

In the third chapter of Genesis, we find the sad reality of the first temptation and sin. However, in this same chapter, we find the first promise of the remedy for all sin – the Savior (Verse 15). John the Baptist described Him as “the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world (John 1:29).” Amen – Praise the Lord!

In this new year of 2022, we will face new challenges, new experiences and new blessings. We will be called to new devotion; we will need new courage; we may need to follow a new direction; and we all are blessed with the opportunity for a new start. I am so thankful that our Lord has promised us strength for the journey as well as His presence, peace. power, provision, protection, His unfailing grace and His undying love.

A final encouragement for the days ahead are the words of Jesus found in Matthew 6:33, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things (the necessities of life – Verse 31) shall be added unto you.”

May God give us grace to put Him first in all the new things we will encounter in 2022. Happy New Year.

Randy Zinn is pastor of Russell Missionary Baptist Church in Russell.

Randy Zinn is pastor of Russell Missionary Baptist Church in Russell.

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