The New Year Is Here
After the rush of the Christmas Season, it is almost hard to believe. January is not an ending; it is a beginning, a time to plan and dream, take stock of life and make resolutions that will enhance our relationship with Jesus Christ.
Where there is no vision, the people perish. . . .
So each day is a new day and we all have the same time. What do we fill it with? We cannot redeem the time that we wasted this past year.
I would like for us to think about the New Year for a short time. Scripture found in Romans 13:11-14:
11And do this, knowing the time, that is now high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. 12The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. 13Let us walk properly, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. 14But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.
1Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2looking into Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Many people do lots of traveling and on purpose, they include mountain climbing. I have, in my younger days, climbed several mountains but my trip up the mountain was just for the day and I was not encumbered with the gear of those that climb high mountains.
And sometimes as they climb, they get weighted down; the load gets heavy, and they have to stop and unload to make it to the top. You and I are on a mission. We are climbing too. Our journey is not complete, but one day it will be.
So while we’re traveling, we must travel light, for we cannot handle the extra load. That’s only garbage and we must bear our cross too, for no one can carry resentment and, at the same time, carry the cross of Jesus. That’s impossible. That’s why Jesus tells us to pray without ceasing. And, He tells us that those who will see the Lord must have clean hands and a pure heart.
Most mountain climbers have a map. We have our map too, The Bible. They have ropes. We have peace, joy and the Holy Spirit.
The climb through life is a long and challenging one. There’s no use making it any heavier, carrying extra weight that can be discarded by grace, mercy and forgiveness.
God is a specialist in making something useful and beautiful out of something that’s broken and confused. You can mark it down when God forgives, He forgets! He is not only willing but pleased to use any vessel, just as long as it’s clean.
It may be worn, cracked or broken, but God’s glorious grace says, “Throw guilt and anxiety overboard; my grace is sufficient.”
If Satan can keep someone from forgiving and if he can keep them in bondage or resentment, past and present, then he may be able to direct the end of their lives. The reason is because the unforgiving person creates an environment for the growth of other dangerous and ungodly attitudes.
From God’s perspective, we have tremendous worth, not because of what we have done, but because of who lives inside of us.
God loves us with a perfect and unconditional love. The Bible says:
I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.
But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:
1 Peter 2:9
Jesus tells us to put on the whole armor of God, that we may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. We need lifetime climbing equipment of kindness, gentleness, pure motives, a gentle and quiet spirit and Jesus tells us to be content with such things as we have.