Ever wonder what God might have to say to YOU today? Here are things to ponder, and things to receive into your heart. If you have a question, put it in the comments. I respond as much as I can.

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Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Faith and the New Year...

[Abraham] went out, not knowing where he went...
That's the new year.  We always "go out, not knowing where we are going," or what will happen.  It's new, and God has not provided us with a map that goes beyond today.  We are like Abraham, and we are making the same journey, for we seek the City "whose builder and maker is God." The path in between our destination and the present is what we worry most about, but we need not.  Every single one  of our days is in His hands, planned, as the Psalmist writes, "before ever one of them came to be" (Ps. 139:16, NKJV, NASB, NIV, but not the KJV).
The thing that vexes us most is the loss of control. We cannot determine what people will do, nor can we control the events that shape our lives. Instead, we are in God's hands.  However, we often forget to ask ourselves, "Where would I rather be?" If this year brings prosperity, we will thank God. If it brings poverty, we will trust God. If it brings health and joy, we will praise Him, and if it brings suffering, we will call out to Him for relief.
This worldview is simply not shared by people who don't know Him, because the universe to them is a box from which there is neither escape nor alteration.  It's a closed system, and what happens happens, either because of chaos or fate--or sometimes both.
The worldview that does not allow God is incredibly incomplete, no matter what the naysayers believe, since those of us who believe in God also see evidence of His hand everywhere, and these beliefs are not manufactured fantasies. We believe, as the opening verse of Hebrews 11 say, based on our conviction and assurance that God is in charge, that the world is trending toward a final day, and that believers shall be secured from all evil in that day.
We should face the new year in the same way we receive the promises of our final future, and of heaven.  We accept those, deeming them to be true, since our relationship with God is real to us, and we have opened ourselves to His promises of a life forever with Him. However, it's not nearly as easy to believe in the immediate future He has for us in the next year.
I would recommend on this, the next to final day of 2014, that you read Hebrews 11, and on to the opening verses of Hebrews 12. This passage describes how to meet our future--listen for God as Noah and Abraham did; Act on His word as Jacob did; live in faith as all the Old Testament worthies did; allow yourself a peek at your final future, and trust God for the time in between.
May God bless your journey this year.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Looking forward to the New Year, #1

One of the most encouraging passages in the New Testament is Mark 3:28:
Truly I say to you, All sins shall be forgiven the sons of men, and blasphemies with which they blaspheme....
This is a great concept for those of us who believe in Christ to take with us into the new year.  It enables us to leave the past behind, and look forward to the future, because it offers us three promises:
1.  All sins:  Not one left out. This enables us to leave all the issues, problems, and evils of the year behind us.
2. Shall be forgiven: In Greek, the word "forgive" literally means, "send away." Forgiveness in the New Testament involves separating you and your sin forever, so that it is "remembered no more forever."
3. The sons of men: In other words, YOU.  In the Bible, "sons of men" is used to mean "mankind," "humans," and includes EVERYone. There are no exclusions.
You can look to the new year, and leave the old year behind. Nothing need stay with you into the next year.
Saint Paul said as much, when he said, "I forget those things which are behind, and I press forward toward what is ahead..."
Don't look back. Look ahead.  God has dealt with your past.  Let it lie.