THE WORD: We need help to meet our goals 

“The Magi Journeying” (1886-1894) is a painting by James Tissot which is part of the European Art Collection of the Brooklyn Museum.  

The new year often brings resolutions and vows of starting something new or starting over. This week marks the Epiphany on the Christian calendar. The visit of the three wise men to Bethlehem is commemorated by the Epiphany, or Old Christmas as it is called in some parts.  


The arrival of the wise men to Jesus marked a key point in the ministry of Jesus. They followed the ancient prophecies, but they also followed orders. The “star of wonder” led them to Jesus but they listened to God when he told them to depart for home without a revisit to King Herod.  


As we set goals and adopt resolutions for the new year Christ should be at the center. No mere resolution can free one from Satan’s bondage. Only Christ can set the devil’s captives free. Those who have long been trying in vain to reform, to break away from evil practices — see in Christ, the Friend who alone can deliver them and save them. No demon-power can resist His command. Only Christ can free us from Satan’s grasp and save us from his terrible sway. 


As we start a new year, with hopes of new opportunities, we are reminded that even the wise men trusted in the Lord above their own understanding. 


J.R. Miller was a pastor and former editorial superintendent of the Presbyterian Board of Publication from 1880 to 1911. His works are now in the public domain and his words are part of this article.  




5 Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. 7 Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil.