Lord, as I prepare my heart for a new year, I want to be alert, living each day in light of Your coming.
Read: MALACHI 4:1-6
 “Surely the day is coming; it will burn like a furnace. All the arrogant and every evildoer will be stubble, and the day that is coming will set them on fire,” says the LORD Almighty. “Not a root or a branch will be left to them.  But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its rays. And you will go out and frolic like well-fed calves.  Then you will trample on the wicked; they will be ashes under the soles of your feet on the day when I act,” says the LORD Almighty.  “Remember the law of my servant Moses, the decrees and laws I gave him at Horeb for all Israel.  “See, I will send the prophet Elijah to you before that great and dreadful day of the LORD comes.  He will turn the hearts of the parents to their children, and the hearts of the children to their parents; or else I will come and strike the land with total destruction.”
Reflect: WHAT WILL HAPPEN BEFORE THE LORD’S COMING?
Many of Malachi’s contemporaries, full of fear, had forgotten their dreams as the years took their toll. Spiritually, they had aged prematurely. Was there any hope? Certainly, a day of reckoning was coming, the dark judgment side of hope (1,3). Thankfully, however, God himself would come like the blazing sun (Psa. 84:11), bringing righteousness, healing and renewed vitality to his people (2).Would it all happen immediately? No! Preparations needed to be made for the Lord’s coming: an Elijah figure must appear to bring reconciliation to a fractured society. In Jesus’ day, he appeared via the ministry of John the Baptist: “if you are willing to accept it, he is the Elijah who was to come” (Matt. 11:14). For with the coming of Jesus, the “sun of righteousness” has arisen (2), since the Light of the World has arrived to banish our darkness (John 8:12; 14:3).Isn’t the world still a dark place? Yes! So, hold on to God’s Word (4). Jesus is coming again and he will finally and fully bring these things to completion. Keep your eyes open and continue to work until that day!
Consider a resolution to read the whole Bible this coming year. May God’s Word fill you with hope and renewed dreams.
Father, thank You for Your work this past year. Thank You for a new year to walk with You.
Syndicated via Scripture Union. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.