Activated - - NEWS - By Keith Phillips Keith Phillips was Ac­ti­vated’s edi­tor-in-chief for 14 years from 1999 to 2013. He and his wife Caryn now work with the home­less in the U.S.A.

New Year’s Day is sort of like the first day of school. It’s as though God gives us each a spot­less new note­book, sharp new pen­cils, new text­books full of new lessons, and a fresh start. Whether or not that comes as a happy thought to you prob­a­bly de­pends on how well you did in the last grade, last year. If you ex­celled, you’re prob­a­bly ready to greet the new year with high hopes and bring-it-on en­thu­si­asm. If you just barely squeaked by, you prob­a­bly feel some­thing be­tween jit­ters and trep­i­da­tion.

Ei­ther way, this com­ing year can be your best yet be­cause Je­sus wants to be your per­sonal tu­tor. He’s pretty smart, and if you’re smart you’ll take Him up on His of­fer. Who could bet­ter help you through the school of life? Af­ter all, He de­signed the course, wrote the text­book, and put to­gether the tests, so of course He un­der­stands the ma­te­rial inside and out and has all the an­swers. What’s more, He loves you dearly and wants to see you suc­ceed even more than you do.

As you learn to take your ques­tions and prob­lems to Him and let Him ex­plain how He sees them, you’ll find that things will click like never be­fore. He will help you solve even the tough­est prob­lems, and teach you to cap­i­tal­ize on your mis­takes by turn­ing them into learn­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties. He’s pa­tient, lov­ing, and wise—and did I men­tion He knows bet­ter than any­one how to make learn­ing fun?

Why strug­gle on your own for a pass­ing grade when Je­sus can help you make the honor roll? And when the fi­nal exam comes around, Je­sus will help you ace that too, and you’ll be so proud when you hear Him say, “Well done!”

Start the year off right by ask­ing Je­sus to come in and walk the year’s path with you. Sim­ply pray: Je­sus, I ac­cept Your of­fer to spend eter­nity with You. Please come into my life and help me nav­i­gate what­ever may come our way. I don’t know what the fu­ture holds, but I know that God holds tomorrow, so it is ex­cit­ing. Even when I have hard things hap­pen, He loves me so big, so much. I come through it and I grow from it, be­cause He has got me. — Bar­bara Man­drell (b. 1948)

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