Start your year 2019 right! be encouraged through God's Word
Greetings and a joyous New Year to you all. As I woke up this morning I thanked God for the past and am looking forward for the future. A few verses came to mind as an encouragement to me and for all. Firstly, 2 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore if anyone is in Christ he is a new creation. Old things have passed away; behold all things have become new.” I thank God that He made me a new creation. If not, I could be worse. I know who I was in the past. But God swapped my sinfulness to Christ and gave me Christ’s righteousness. I am not perfect in the human eyes but in the Heavenly Father’s eyes I am complete and made whole. Gradually He continues to change me inwardly, though the physical being is wearing out. This is not my doing but His grace working through me and I thank Him for the security of eternal life. Second verse, Romans 12:2 “Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind that you may prove what is good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” The renewing of our mind is not only done every New Year - to make a New Year’s resolution, and then forget it the following day. It is a constant transformation in the power of the Holy Spirit, every moment, of every day. Therefore let us burn the “bridges behind” do not go back to the old territory of our lives, our bad habits, our failures, our hatred and our pain. Renewing our minds means that we must have the mind of Christ daily in order to know what is good and acceptable and is the perfect will of God. Gradual transformation and growth in the Christian life is essential evidence of our salvation. Jesus said, ‘by their fruits you will know them.’ Thirdly, Philippians 3:10 “That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His suffering being conformed to His death.” Paul’s greatest desire in his life was to know Christ more and more, sweeter and sweeter every day. To know what it means to suffer with Him and to experience the power that rose Him from the dead. We can apply this in our lives, not only today but for the rest of our lives. To know Christ is to know the Father. To know Christ is to experience the power of the Holy Spirit. Fourthly, Hebrews 12:2 “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith….” There are many things in this world that entangles us. Influences and forces that drive us away from God and from the truth of His scriptures. One of the secrets of victory is to focus our eyes on Jesus. As the chorus says: Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face, and the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace. Fifth, Philippians 1:6 “Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.” When you came to know Christ He had already begun to do a good work in you and He will continue to do so, until He comes again because you are His masterpiece. So don’t worry what other people say about you because God is the one who is chiselling away the rough edges in your life. Sixth, Psalm 23:6 “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” God’s loving kindness and mercy is not only for one day. It is infinite because God’s character is infinite. It is who He is. Let’s be assured that God’s goodness and loving kindness and mercy are the things that will sustain you in your Christian life’s journey until He takes us home in glory. So my last verses for the time being while we are on this earth and look forward to another year in our lives is Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your path.” So as you walk with the Father do not rely upon your own wisdom, your own understanding but TRUST Him, ACKNOWLEDGE Him whatever plans or desires you have, and be assured, He will guide you every step of the way, DIRECTING your path. Just one step at a time, one day at a time, and trust and obey. Remember it is all by His grace and grace alone.