A Look Back – 1/14/2018
A Look Back
A Reality Check In The New Year
2 Corinthians 13:5 Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you–unless indeed you fail the test?
While people are saying, “There is peace and security,” then sudden destruction will come upon them as labor pains upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. But you are not in darkness, brothers, for that day to surprise you like a thief.
(1 Thessalonians 5:3–4, ESV).
Don’t be tempted to find your peace and security in anything or anyone other than Jesus Christ. If the apostle Paul could say things like,
- “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling” (Philippians 2:12b), and,
- “Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith”(2 Corinthians 13:5), and,
- “I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified”(1 Corinthians 9:27), then each of us should assume a need for reflecting often and honestly on the condition of our souls.
- “Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall”(2 Peter 1:10).
Anticipating God In The New Year
Then Joshua said to the people, “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the LORD will do wonders among you.”
WAITING WITH ANTICIPATION
- Watch faithfully.
That we not only watch for the Lord to return, but stand firm in our faith with courage and strength while He tarries. We need to be watching out for false prophets and remaining aware of the signs of the times.
But most importantly, we need to anticipate His return every day.
Revelation 16:15 promises a special blessing for those who are watching with anticipation. “Behold, I am coming as a thief. Blessed is he who watches.”
- Work diligently.
He left me here to work on His behalf. First, I need to be sharing the good news of Salvation and my personal testimony with others. Secondly, I need to be growing spiritually and drawing closer to the Lord.
- Wait patiently.
Undoubtedly, the longer we have to wait for Jesus’ return, the worse things will begin to seem on this earth. There will be more wars, more violence, more injustice, more natural disasters. If I lose my patience with Christ’s return, I may begin to fear the situations in my world. I may begin to feel like things are out of control and there is no hope.
But Jesus intentionally left us with peace. “My peace I give you,” said Jesus before He left His disciples. We need to wait patiently for Him to return and we need to cling to that peace that surpasses understanding as things continue to spiral down. We don’t need to fear, but to hope, with certainty, that He will come soon.
He is coming again. Are we ready?
A New Year Without Fear
- Christ is with us as we obey the Great Commission
Matthew 28:18-20 “And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.”
- Victory is always available in Christ
1 Corinthians 15:56-58 “The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.”
- God has given us the Spirit of power
2 Timothy 1:7 – “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, But Of Power and Of Love and Of A Sound Mind.”
Psalm 112:1-8 – Those who trust in the LORD will never be shaken –
“Praise the Lord! Blessed is the man who fears the Lord, who delights greatly in His commandments. His descendants will be mighty on earth; The generation of the upright will be blessed. Wealth and riches will be in his house, and his righteousness endures forever. Unto the upright there arises light in the darkness; He is gracious, and full of compassion, and righteous. A good man deals graciously and lends; He will guide his affairs with discretion. Surely, he will never be shaken; The righteous will be in everlasting remembrance. He will not be afraid of evil tidings; His heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord. His heart is established; He will not be afraid, until he sees his desire upon his enemies.”
– Isaiah 40:30-31 – Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
– 2 Corinthians 5:17 – Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!
– Romans 8:18 – I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.
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