Goodbye, Hello

It is the time of the year that we say goodbye to 2013 and hello to 2014. I always find this time of year interesting. We just came off of a great time of the year with Thanksgiving and followed closely by Christmas. Those holidays help us focus on two important things – being thankful and even more important the LORD Jesus Christ.

Now, to me there is a switch of gears from Christmas to the end of the year and beginning of a new one. Let’s think about this some starting with the end of a year – 2013.

I see three things we can end the year with, ok four 1) we can just ignore it. I think few do that but we could. We could just watch it pass by without much thought at all. Let’s come back to that thought. 2) We can be glad that it is over. It seemed too challenging and not much hope for the future. We could have had broken relationships that seem to be impossible to rebuild. We could have lost loved ones that we think we can never recover from. We could have lost a job or house or race car, etc… and think they are gone forever. 3) We could have had a good year that we wish would just keep going and that there were more days. Or maybe we wish there were more days because we were so busy, want more time, more money, or better relationships.  4) We could pause right now and look back and go – WOW what a great year the LORD has given to us. He has done so much and blessed us so greatly. He has taught a simple, sinner like me. He has allowed me to draw near to Him. God has shown glimpses of His glory to me. His Word has been alive and active in my life. Even and bigger and better praise would be if salvation has happened this year for you! I hope that is how you are looking at 2013 and the end of the year.

Now we move to 2014. We can look at the coming of the New Year in four ways also. 1) We can try to ignore it but that is hard because we do have to write “2014” now J. 2) We can be nervous or worried that last year’s troubles will continue and the struggles might even get worse. Maybe we have tough decisions to make. I would hope that you are turning to God for wisdom and direction. Those decisions made on our own can often turn out poorly.  3) We can anticipate this or that to happen. There are going to be moments or points in 2014 that will have powerful effects on our life and those around us. We can get weighted down or even destroyed by that weight or we can look at it as the challenge God places before us to see which choice we will make – either against God and His will or for Him and His will. We can also anticipate in a good way that God will teach us new things (new to us, He is unchanging) and give us opportunity to grow. We can make “that” commitment. I know that I want to grow in prayer and in knowledge of the LORD Jesus. I want to grow in faith and trust and in loving my family and those around me. 4) We can be consumed with Christ and filled with the hope that there is in Jesus. Each of us should have that hope. That hope should not be that our surroundings or circumstances improve but that we have trust in the LORD and what He is going to do. He is going to protect us and teach us. We have a hope in what is to come after life here on earth. We have the hope of salvation.

Remember at the beginning I said that we can ignore the end and beginning of the year. We can ignore it but it is still going to happen. The year will end on December 31st and is going to begin again on January 1st. Just like we can try to ignore the end and beginning of years, we can try to ignore the LORD and eternity, but God is real and true, and so is eternity. We will face it one day, ready or not. I hope you are ready. I hope you have placed your trust and faith in Jesus. I hope you have agreed with His Word that Jesus is LORD.

Now let’s consider a few verses on this subject:

John 19:30 When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

Jesus finished well. We should finish the year well.

Philippians 1:6 being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

Jesus begins a work in us and will complete it. We need to be in step with Him and His will by being in His Word and prayer continually.

Revelation 1:8 “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.”

Revelation 22:13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.

Jesus is the beginning and the end and is complete in every way. We should completely lean on Him and His Word and fellowship with other believers.

I hope you have had a good 2013 and that 2014 is even better. I hope you grow in your relationships and especially in your relationship with God.

Have a great day racin’ in the SONshine,

Pastor Todd

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