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New Years day in this age has become a day of making resolutions.  With it we are filled with new hope and plan on doing better than we have done in the past.  The Old Year has brought us many disappointments and in a sense we realize that we have failed.  The Old Year seems like a tottering old man, whose shoulders are bent as if his work is done, and no one regrets his departure, so is bidden good-bye without regret.  But the New Year is given an enthusiastic welcome and everybody seems happy and cheerful.

However, the fact remains that the Old Year will not remain silent and will not and cannot be forgotten.  He teaches us the lesson of sin’s devastating effects, and sin makes slaves and sinners out of us all.  The results of sin also remain with us and cause us much grief and heartache.  If it were not for the lessons learned in the Old Year, the New Year will be but a repetition of the Old.  It has also taught us that God in His loving providence has watched over us and provided us with all that we needed.  So let us bid the Old Year a grateful farewell.

New Year’s Day has become the day of new hope.  This implies that the Old Year was not reassuring.  This is not due to God failing us, but to man’s failure to measure up to God’s standard, yet man tries again at the beginning of each year by making new resolutions.  This is often taken lightly and the resolutions are not expected to be kept, and moreover they are often made sport of.  This should not be so.  Men have learned from the past what should and should not be done.  If these lessons mean anything at all to us, we will not be foolish enough to repeat them.  It means that we shall make proper resolutions and if we are serious, we shall make an attempt to live up to them.  We also will help our fellow man to live up to his resolutions.  Proper resolutions are good even though keeping them seems an impossibility and are soon broken.  But a good resolution made and broken is better than no resolution at all.  Every confession is a resolution; every remorse contains a resolution and every Christian’s life is full of resolutions.  When one does wrong and regrets it, he resolves not to do so again; although, it is possible that he may fall into the same error the next day.  If certain deeds in one’s life show that they carry God’s blessing, he should be resolved to continue in that way.  So let’s be resolved, as God’s children, to do His will and to trust Him in all things.  If the resolution is broken let’s resolve it over again.  In time we will take definite positions, attitudes toward life, responsibilities, and we will be strengthened.  The future always looks brighter than the past and man is filled with a new hope.  Paul had not attained, but kept on struggling hoping to attain in the future a definite goal.  Hoping is good spiritual exercise.  Through it we must learn what the promises of God are.  This requires the studying of His Word, for how shall we hope if we do not know what is promised?  As God’s children, we must take hold of the promises by faith and hope for the best in 1945.  Though, in this year the future looks dark on account of the war, we know that God in heaven reigns and will avert all evil or turn it into our profit.

The Christian, therefore, must resolve to look upward and that should be the spirit in each Christian hope on New Year’s Day.  With that attitude, we can and may expect God’s blessing.  We must resolve not to let it die on the evening of January 2 but remember it every day of the New Year.  Only then can New Year Greetings and resolutions be of value and our lives as Christians bear fruit unto eternal life.

The Christian is placed in many different circumstances while on this earth. Some are characterized by hardships and trials, and others are full of joy and peace. How should the Christian respond? Throughout the Bible there are numerous times where God’s people sang in response to their various circumstances. Singing in response to God’s ordering […]

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The book of Proverbs was written by King Solomon to his young adult son. Solomon’s purpose in writing Proverbs was “that the generation to come might know them [God’s wonderful works]…that they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments” (Ps. 78:6–7). Throughout the book, Solomon […]

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The group of churches that John writes to in this trio of epistles had recently experienced a split because of doctrinal controversy. We do not know the exact content of the error that these false teachers were spreading, but it is apparent from John’s writing that their teaching somehow denied the truth of the incarnation—that […]

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Jael: An Example of Christian Warfare

This article was originally presented as a speech at a Protestant Reformed mini convention held at Quaker Haven Camp in August 2021. Jael lived during the era of the judges. Deborah the prophetess was the judge who served Israel at the time of Jael. During this time, the Canaanites under the rule of king Jabin […]

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Indiana Mini Convention Review 2021

One of this year’s “mini conventions” was hosted by Grace and Grandville Protestant Reformed Churches at Quaker Haven Camp. Located just over two hours away in northern Indiana, the camp was a perfect fit for the 120 kids and 15 chaperones who attended. A total of twelve different churches were represented: Byron Center, Faith, First […]

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Editorial, November 2021: Catechism Season

At the point that this edition of Beacon Lights arrives in the homes of our subscribers, most young people in the Protestant Reformed Churches will have been sitting under the catechism instruction of their pastor or elders for more than a month. If our readers are honest, that observation probably comes with a (quiet) sigh […]

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Tennessee Young People’s Retreat 2021

The 2021 Tennessee young people’s retreat was held August 9 to 13 by Providence, Hudsonville, Unity, and First (Holland) Protestant Reformed Churches. The retreat took place at Eagle Rock Retreat Center in the city of Tallassee. It was about an eleven-hour drive, give or take a bit due to stops for food and restrooms. Though […]

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