Archive for December, 2015
We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. (Romans 6:4)
Turning a page on a calendar doesn’t really make things new. Turning your life over to God makes everything new.
New birth. New life.
Then they said to each other, “We’re not doing right. This is a day of good news and we are keeping it to ourselves. If we wait until daylight, punishment will overtake us. Let’s go at once and report this to the royal palace.” (II Kings 7:9)
This is the year we tell the world the good news of Jesus. If we do not, then we are not doing right.
You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. (Romans 5:6)
At just the right time… that’s how God does things. It’s not always the time we would have chosen. Maybe not even the time that we think is best.
But God’s time is always the right time. He does things when they should be done.
I freely admit that my New Year’s Resolution this year is borrowed from someone else. I wanted a very simple goal for this year. I decided to select one thing a make it my 2016 focus. I found it in my Bible. It was stated by the Apostle Paul in a letter to the church in Philippi, and it is my one resolution for the year. Here it is:
But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
The resolution is Jesus and here are the three things that he is determined to do. These are good resolutions for all of us.
- Forget the past. Let go of your past sins and poor choices. God has forgiven you in Christ. Your past does not have to determine your future. Let go of guilt, shame, and humiliation. Stop hanging on to past hurts. You cannot look forward when you are focused on the past.
- Go for the prize. We are going home to heaven. Do not quit. Do not get distracted. Do not lose sight of where you are going. Stay on the road that leads to where God has called you.
- Press On. Choose faith over fear, joy over depression, hope over despair, forgiveness over revenge, and love over hate. Be bold and radical this year in following Jesus. Give generously. Pray boldly. Read God’s Word daily. Share your faith. Represent Jesus in your world. Share your faith.
One thing: Jesus. Three things to do: forget the past, focus on heaven, and press on till you get there.
I know that some of you reading this have not yet fully bought in to following Jesus. Why not make this is the year to hear the call of God in Jesus.
If you make a vow to the Lord your God, do not be slow to pay it, for the Lord your God will certainly demand it of you and you will be guilty of sin. (Deuteronomy 23:21)
In this time when even Christians are making “New Year’s Resolutions”, be very careful. Keep your commitments to the Lord.
For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; he will lead them to springs of living water. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes. (Revelation 7:17)
On December 25, we remember the birth of a baby. That birth is important because of who the baby became: the Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world. The Lamb that is a shepherd, leading God’s people in the ways of righteousness. The Lamb that is Jesus Christ.
Good news for today and for every day. Forever.
How great are his signs, how mighty his wonders! His kingdom is an eternal kingdom; his dominion endures from generation to generation. (Daniel 4:3)
Jesus came to usher in an eternal kingdom: the kingdom of heaven. We’re invited to form part of that kingdom.
We must come to Jesus with faith, confess and renounce our sins, and be baptized. Then we will receive the forgiveness of our sins and the gift of God’s Holy Spirit.
And we will be born again, born as citizens of God’s eternal kingdom.
The daughters of Zelophehad son of Hepher, the son of Gilead, theson of Makir, the son of Manasseh, belonged to the clans of Manasseh son of Joseph. The names of the daughters were Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milcah and Tirzah. (Numbers 27:1)
Never think you are not important to God. People matter to him. He knows your name too. He knows you.
“See, I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me. Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, will come,” says the LORD Almighty. (Malachi 3:1)
God told his people in many ways that the Messiah, Jesus, would come to them. He prepared them long before, then prepared them again through the ministry of John the Baptist.
In the same way, God has prepared the world for the good news of Jesus, speaking to us through creation, through his Word, and through the transformed lives of believers.
Many failed to hear the prophecies, failed to recognize Jesus, and missed out on the blessing he brought. Let’s not be like them. Hear the news and believe the news. Salvation is through Jesus and Jesus alone.