Wednesday, December 29, 2010

New Year 2011

My son had a friend over the other day, and I was reading a newspaper article to them out loud about New Year’s resolutions. My son’s friend said, “New Year’s resolutions don’t even work, do they?”

"No," I said. "January first is just a date. If it didn't work to try to change on July 15th, it isn't going to work to try to change on January 1st!"

We all agreed that, unless one becomes born again in Jesus Christ on January 1st, personal regeneration isn’t going to take place simply because one wills it on the first of the year.

For those of us who are already walking with Jesus as our Lord and Savior, the new year is like any other time of the year: a time to be renewing our hearts and minds in the Lord Jesus Christ, looking to Him each day to learn what He has to teach us. We come to Him and His Word in prayer and with a willingness to be made new each and every day through His conviction and grace. Praise be to God our Father that we walk in the newness of Christ 365 days of the year!

“Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22-23

“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

Friday, December 24, 2010

Silent Night

Merry Christmas!

“And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.’” Luke 2:8-11

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Feeling "Home Alone" this Christmas?

Probably one of the best scenes in a movie ever!

If you're feeling any of the emotions this clip stirs up, and haven't yet given Jesus a chance to address those issues, a church is a great place to find yourself this Christmas. Of course, Jesus can be sought out anywhere. But if you're finding, once again, that the parties, festive food, alcohol, beribboned presents, Christmas bonuses, etc. etc. just aren't filling the void like you anticipated, then maybe it's time to mark Christmas by finding Christ in the holiness of a chapel. Don't worry about being a stranger or not fitting in or any other excuse people use to justify their absence from the gathered body of Christ. After all, the first order of business to settle when it comes to church attendance is to realize that it isn't about you or me. It's about God, His Holy Spirit and His Son, Jesus Christ.

I pray the redeeming love of Christ, who alone reconciles us to God and each other, will be received into each heart this Christmas.

"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened." Matthew 7:7-8

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." Matthew 11:28-30

"When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, 'I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.'" John 8:12

"But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another..." 1 John 1:7

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Carol of the Bells

"How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, 'How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!'" Romans 10:14-15

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

It's Never Too Late...

This clip from "A Christmas Carol" to me depicts the victory we have in Jesus Christ.

It is never, I repeat never too late to allow God to finish the good work He began when He formed us in our mother's womb. It's never too late to start to become the person God desires us to be.

The fictional Scrooge does it by allowing a contrite heart to "bring him to his senses." Real-life human beings do it by allowing Christ to bring down the wall of pride (built brick by brick for many years), so that our contrite hearts are laid bare before Him with no place left to hide. Jesus Christ offers Himself as our "new sense," if you will; our new hope, new attitude, new conviction, new approach, new love and our new heart within us. As He promises in His Word, "I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh." Ezekiel 36:26

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. As God's fellow workers we urge you not to receive God's grace in vain. For he says, 'In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you.' I tell you, now is the time of God's favor, now is the day of salvation."
2 Corinthians 5:17-21, 6:1-2

"You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness." Ephesians 4:22-24