Answering the question, “What’s new in 2016?”
January 4, 2016
So here we are at the end of another year. Or so that's what the calendar dictates to our thinking. When I think about everything God has done for me, in me, and through me, I'm amazed.
Just a few weeks back, I proposed that we not limit our "Thanks-giving" to one big occasion a year.
But, rather to have such a spirit every day, 365 times a year.
I can't nearly express my thanks properly and enough for God's mercy, grace, and love.
I'm concerned about people who don't know God, and those who confess they do, but in reality don't know Him, only know about Him.
One of the greatest believers in the Bible (as acclaimed by Satan and God), having been drawn to a fresh encounter with God midst his trials confessed, "My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you." (Job 42:5 NIV)
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It's very important that believers stay steady, focused on the right path, to be in the world but not of it.
The Bible tells us that our citizenship is not of this world. We are here for a purpose, strategically placed in Christ.
We are ambassadors (representatives of another kingdom) from another place.
We are lights in a dark place. And we need to switch (turn) our lampstands on. I hate to think I might need to dust off the bulb.
2 Corinthians 5:17 promises "… if any man (or woman) be in Christ, they are a new creation. The old has passed away, behold all things have become new."
It kind of answers the proverbial question, "What's new?" Doesn't it? You are.
Anybody who really knows who God is, can never really not believe in Him, and not want to have a relationship with Him.
Further, that relationship will be 24 x 7 x 365.
And, it will constantly be changing. New life comes and the old passes away.
We must remember the good old days and be thankful we had our turn.
We don't brood over past negatives, hurts, failures, injuries to our bodies or our minds.
We are thankful as we remember God's presence beside us throughout our past.
We are to be set-free persons; forgiven and forgiving, changed from glory into glory, a work in progress.
You may say, "I'm supposed to live like that, even want to live like that, but I've screwed up, even badly at times."
Get this (behold) we don't live on a calendar that changes on Jan. 1, but rather changes daily.
Every day is the beginning of a new 365, to be fully alive, and in the Spirit of God.
Matthew missed it. Luke got it when he quoted Jesus, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me." (Luke 9:23)
Picture us shutting down our lives each night and starting a new year with the new day.
And then following Isaiah's instruction to "Behold, the new has come!"
Lord, help us to remember how you've been with us in the past, to sense your presence with us now, and to know you will be with us throughout the future
If anyone is in Christ, they are a new creation. Things are changing, for the better.
Pastor Bill Baltz is a member of the Carson Valley Ministers' Association.