Franklin Graham’s New Year’s Devotional

Franklin Graham’s 6-part Christmas devotional ends with a Bible reading and words of encouragement for New Year’s.

New Year’s Day: Marching Orders


“And while staying with them [Jesus] ordered them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, he said, ‘you heard from me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.’ So when they had come together, they asked him, ‘Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?’

“He said to them, ‘It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.’ And when he had said these things, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight.

“And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, and said, ‘Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.’”

SHORTLY AFTER His resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ physically ascended into Heaven right before the eyes of His disciples. “Why do you stand looking into heaven?” two angels asked them. “This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven” (Acts 1:11).

As we await His return, we have work to do. He left us with marching orders—to make disciples, obey His commands, and live boldly for His glory. Heading into this new year, let’s check our priorities and make sure we haven’t drifted from Christ’s urgent mission.

The world around us seems to be growing darker—rejecting God’s ways and embracing sin. But the Bible challenges us to choose godliness in these uncertain days. “The grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:11–13).

The Christmas season is filled with celebration as we remember the Savior’s first coming. Today, on New Year’s Day, we can rejoice in the promise of His triumphant, second coming. In the meantime, I pray that we will “shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life” (Philippians 2:15–16). We can be faithful, by the power of His Spirit, to honor Him and join Him in His mission of redeeming men and women, boys and girls, to Himself—until He comes!

PRAYER: Father, thank You for the sure promise of Jesus’ return. Help me to live my life in light of that reality, and may Your Spirit work in me to bear fruit for Your name.

Read the previous weeks in this series, taken from Franklin Graham’s devotional, The Greatest Rescue Mission: week 1 (Code Red), week 2 (Drop Zone Bethlehem), week 3 (Operation Deathblow), week 4 (A Change of Course) and week 5 (Victory Declared).