Sunday, January 11, 2009

Happy New Year

Hello fellow servants of the Lord, 

A page has been turned and a new year has begun.  Resolutions were made and some have already been forgotten. My year began with introspection and prayer. Our church devotes the month of January to"Seasons of Prayer". This month we fast three days per week and meet once a week for a two hour prayer meeting. This kicks off our year and offers an opportunity to position ourselves to serve the Lord, receive blessings, become an intercessor, or just find our place in the family of of God. 

A great moment in history is upon us. The world is an increasingly dangerous place to live. Those who follow prophecy believe the End of the Age is drawing near. The most important thing in your life is to make your calling and election sure! Whether the Lord comes this year or in ten thousand years, nothing is more important to your future! 

Joel 2: 12-15

 12 "Even now," declares the LORD, 
       "return to me with all your heart, 
       with fasting and weeping and mourning."

 13 Rend your heart 
       and not your garments. 
       Return to the LORD your God, 
       for he is gracious and compassionate, 
       slow to anger and abounding in love, 
       and he relents from sending calamity.

 14 Who knows? He may turn and have pity 
       and leave behind a blessing— 
       grain offerings and drink offerings 
       for the LORD your God.

 15 Blow the trumpet in Zion, 
       declare a holy fast, 
       call a sacred assembly.

The future is uncertain...and the choices you made in the past have brought you to this moment. God does not expect you to look to your mistakes and ill-judged decisions to bring you through. He wants you to look to Him. If you ask for forgiveness, He will not hold your past against you. He loves you. The only way to protect your future is to become closely acquainted with the Lord. 

As the economy falters, and unemployment rises, do not fear. All those who trust in the Lord will find a shelter and peace of mind. I know we dread living in fearful times. I am reminded of a conversation from The Lord of the Rings Book I, The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien. This conversation took place between the hobbit Frodo Baggins and Gandalf when dark times were approaching Middle Earth.

I wish it need not have happened in my time,' said Frodo.
'So do I,' said Gandalf, 'and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. 
All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.'

And so it is for all of us! We have no choice in deciding whether times will be good, or bad. We are unable to move forward in time or change the times around us. All we can do is decide what to do with the time that is given to us. Choose to serve the Lord. Live in peace with one another. Pray one for another. Bear one another's burdens. So in this year of new beginnings, let us take to our hearts the words of the Apostle Paul: 

Hebrews 12

 1Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. NIV


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