We all know reading the Bible is one of the most important and valuable things we can do to grow our faith and invest in our relationship with God, so in this new year, don’t focus on the minute details of reading through the Bible. Let go of the pressure we put on ourselves, keep it simple, and pick up your Bible each day.
2020 is in the rearview mirror, and 2021 is finally here. I am sure that I can hear you shouting “glory” right now! One of the reasons we all love a new year is because it marks a new beginning full of fresh possibilities and opportunities. But each year is also accompanied by its own set of challenges. And with the lingering impact of COVID-19, the uncertainties of 2021 are weighing on all of us.
The end of a year has always been the perfect time to reflect on the past and prepare for the future. And with the coming of a new year, resolutions have become quite popular. Some resolutions are to eat healthier, work out more, save money, spend less, etc. But, as many of us have experienced on a personal level, these are some of the most commonly broken resolutions.
We hear the words happy, cheerful, and joyful tossed around a lot, but biblical joy is much more than the flippant definition we now associate it with. Biblical joy is more than a happy mood; it is a choice we make to put our faith and trust in God, believing He is good, He loves us, and He will always fulfill His promises.
We see a clear example of God loving us in John 3:16 where we read that God sent His only Son to Earth as our pathway for salvation. And ultimately, it is the life of Christ on Earth that points us to the perfect, everlasting love of the Father.
Ever since Eve took the fruit in the Garden of Eden, our broken, sinful world and all that’s in it have fallen short of experiencing complete peace. And in failing to experience complete peace, we have also minimized the power and meaning of the word.
As many of us struggle to give thanks during this challenging season of life, may we all be reminded that while we may not rejoice in the circumstances that bring us pain, we can and we should rejoice in our God who has a greater plan and will not let any of our pain be wasted.
Biblical hope is different than our modern-day, secular use of the word. Hope is not optimism: choosing to see how any situation could possibly work out well. Hope is not merely wishing: wanting something that cannot or probably will not happen. No, biblical hope is much more than that because it is not focused on circumstances.
Invest in this sanctuary, so the next generation can have the same experiences we have all had. Every time I have come into this sanctuary, I have felt loved by other brothers and sisters and by God Himself.
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