What are your thoughts as you look back over the last year?
Was it a year of heartache and loss, tragedy and sorrow?
Or happiness and joy, success and achievement?
Do you close the book on this year with regret, or with relief?
No matter what your answer is, I hope you will pause and prayerfully ask yourself tow important questions: First, how do you think God looks on this past year in your life? Did it bring you closer to Him?
Second, what lessons will you take from this year into the next? What did God teach you?
Don't be bound by the past and its failure. But don't forget its lessons either.
" But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. " Philippians 3:13-14
God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. And because He is unchanging. He is utterly trustworthy and faithful.
God is unchanging in His holiness:" Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty!"( Isaiah 6:3).
God is unchanging in His demand for holiness and integrity in our lives: " Consecrate yourselves and be holy, because I am holy"( Leviticus 11:44; 1 Peter 1:14-15)
God is unchanging in His judgment: He will judge all the earth, welcoming some into His eternal presence and sending others to eternal death( Matthew 7:22-23).
God is unchanging in His love: He sent His Son to die on the cross for us sinners.
" I the Lord do not change."- Malachi 3:6
Jesus is the Crucified Christ. Good works won't get us to heaven. Only what Jesus did when He died in our place and shed His blood can open Heaven's doors for us.
In addition , Jesus is the Conquering Christ. He rose from the dead as the Conqueror of sin and death and Hell. Because the Risen Jesus holds the keys of hell and death, we don't ever have to experience them for ourselves.
And finally, Jesus is the Coming Christ. Some day He will return to establish His kingdom of peace and blessing.
May your faith and hope be in Christ Jesus- today and always!
" The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me.To preach the gospel to the poor."- Luke 4:18
Have you thought about how brave and honorable Joseph was to take Mary as his wife. Of course, he had a little prompting from an angel of the Lord. When that angel appeared to Joseph in a dream- in a very short conversation we learn the purpose of Jesus' birth.
The angel quoted the Old Testament from Isaiah- " Behold , the virgin shall be with child and shall bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel," which translated means,"God with us."
Bethlehem- "God with us."
Calvary- "God for us."
Pentecost- " God in us."
Think about that today!
Christianity has its roots in the deep, firm soil of history. Jesus' incarnation- God invading human history with His presence in the form of man- is on the record. Every time you write the date, you attest to the fact that God entered human history.
Jesus came into the world so we might know God cares how we live, what we believe, and how we will die. Jesus came to demonstrate to us that we were made to have a personal relationship with God. He came to bridge the gap that separated us from our Creator.
" God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them."- 2 Corinthians 5:19