I Kings 3:5 In Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night: and God said, Ask what I shall give thee. 6 And Solomon said, Thou hast shewed unto thy servant David my father great mercy, according as he walked before thee in truth, and in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart with thee; and thou hast kept for him this great kindness, that thou hast given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day. 7 And now, O Lord my God, thou hast made thy servant king instead of David my father: and I am but a little child: I know not how to go out or come in. 8 And thy servant is in the midst of thy people which thou hast chosen, a great people, that cannot be numbered nor counted for multitude. 9 Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people?
We all enjoy getting something for Christmas. If you could have anything you wanted in the New Year, what would you ask for? Through this story we see that King Solomon was given just that opportunity. He didn’t ask for the normal things; he asked for wisdom and because this pleased the Lord he was given much more. The Lord said I have also given thee that which thou hast not asked, both riches, and honor: so that there shall not be any among the kings like unto thee all thy days. I want to speak about four things we should all ask for in 2023.
Ask for faith enough to accept what God designs for you. We don’t know what’s going to happen this year. Looking back in 2022 many had things happen they didn’t expect. Some of you lost husbands, fathers, and friends. Some had unexpected surgeries. Always remember Romans 8:28: And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. God designs our lives. There are no accidents in the life of the child of God. We’re under the eye of God. When temptation comes, remember that nothing more will come our way than we can handle and with each one God provides a way to escape. In the book of Genesis we have the story of Joseph. If anyone had a right to be bitter, he did. Sold into slavery by his brothers. Lied upon by the wife of his owner. Put in jail for a crime he didn’t commit. Yet he ended up second in command of the land. When his brothers came to him for food, they were very scared when he revealed his identity to them. Yet in Genesis 50:19-20 he said this: Fear not: for am I in the place of God? But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive. Is that not Romans 8:28? He had forgiven his brothers long before this encounter with them. God is still working on all of us. Accept what he designs.
Ask for gratitude enough for the many blessings God has given. Paul said that in latter times people would become unthankful; that was followed by unholy. The Psalms tell us to not forget the benefits that God has given. What? Mercy. Grace. Without them we’d be in hell and lost for eternity. Be thankful for all his goodness. He’s good to us every day.
Ask for enough patience to build a better church. Patience is the child of tribulation and it takes patience to build a work for God. None of us is perfect. To realize the potential we have takes patience. Along the way remember some things we cannot change to bring about a better work. Our stand on the Bible as the inerrant and infallible Word of God must remain. We must hold to the blood atonement for sins. Our Savior was born of a virgin; he died on the cross and rose again. He’s coming back for us. We must always hold to these absolutes, whatever other changes we make.
I want God’s smile of approval on what I do. I desire your approval, but if I don’t get it and I am pleasing the Lord, I’ll be satisfied. It’s our job to please the Lord above all.
Ask God to help you in these areas in 2023.