Watch Out for the Potholes

We have entered into another New Year. It’s officially 2019. With a new year comes new expectations, new hopes, and new dreams. There is always a fresh optimism at the beginning of another year.

But the reality is – life is still the same. Turning another page on the calendar doesn’t really change anything. Life goes on. You’ll face the same issues, same problems and same hardships as you did on the last day of 2018.

That’s the bad news.

I’m not trying to ruin your year. There is good news.

The good news is that you can face whatever 2019 throws at you with a new sense of strength and hope if you face it with the knowledge that Jesus is both your strength and your hope. He’s what you need.

He won’t eliminate the problems (wish He would!). But He will help you handle them if you’ll trust Him.

Read these words from the Bible and let them sink deep into your soul.

Psalm 9:10 – Those who know Your name will put their trust in You; for You, Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You.

Psalm 28:7 – The Lord is my strength and my shield; My heart trusted in Him, and I am helped; Therefore, my heart greatly rejoices, and with my song I will praise Him.

Psalm 33:18 – Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear Him, on those who hope in His mercy.

Psalm 42:5 – Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him For the help of His countenance.

Isaiah 40:29 – He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength.

Psalm 18:2 – The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; My God, my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

My hope and prayer for you is that you will experience joy and blessing in 2019.  But it is also likely that you will face some problems and hardships. The question is not Will you? but When?

The secret to the Christian life is not in avoiding the problems of another year, the secret is in how you handle them.  Handling them with dependence on God and with the confidence that in His power you can do what is right is the goal.

Blessings on you in 2019. But watch out for the potholes along the road (if you’re from PA you know what I’m talking about!).

Stay in the Word

Pastor Steve

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What Will You Do With Another Year?

A year has ended and a new year is here. Some people, especially the young, look forward to a new year with all of its possibilities and potential. Others, mostly older people, aren’t so enthusiastic about another year with its trials and hardships.

Whichever group you fit into, the reality is the same for everyone – it’s here! You can’t stop it; you can’t change it; you can’t avoid it.

It is a set reality that the old year has gone and a new year has come. And that means several things.

It means that you are a year older and have one year less on your personal calendar.

It means that some opportunities have been lost to the past, never to be recovered.

It means that for some things in your life that you messed up there are no “do-overs”.

It means that certain things are now in the dust bin of history.

But a new year is here and that too is significant.

It means that you are a year wiser and can achieve more in a year’s time than before.

It means that you will have new, unexpected opportunities.

It means that you can determine to do things right the first time this time.

It means that you can live so that at the end of this year, when the actions of your life are relegated to the dust bin of history, they will be seen as achievements not as failures.

The question for all of us is: What will you do with another year?

Will it just be another year, like so many past years, that comes and goes? Or will it be unlike any other year of your life?

Will you live it to the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31)?

Will you achieve great things for the kingdom of God (John 9:4)?

Will you influence someone’s life for eternity (Matthew 5:14-16)?

Will you grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3:18)?

A typical year has 365 days, 52 weeks, 12 months. It’s the same for all of us. No one gets an advantage.

The success or failure of a new year is not in the advantage of time, it’s in how you use the time that is the same for all of us.

Use it wisely (Ephesians 5:15-16).

Stay in the Word
Pastor Steve

Time – Use it Wisely

The beginning of a new year is often a time of reflection. People evaluate their life, vow to change and make New Years resolutions. According to CNN, every year people vow to lose weight, get fit, manage debt and stress, get a better education and job, drink less alcohol, stop smoking, save money, take a trip and help others. Their goal is a better more satisfying life.

If you are searching for a New Years resolution this year, let me suggest that you consider the area of time. Time is an important concept in the Bible. For example, the Bible teaches that each of us are allotted a specific amount of time (Psalm 90:10, Hebrews 9:27); our time in this life is short (Psalm 89:47, James 4:14); there is a proper time for everything in life (Ecclesiastes 3:2); and God works in the affairs of this earth in relationship to time (Galatians 4:4).

There is another Biblical teaching related to time that is critically important. It relates to  how we use our time. Ephesians 5:15 & 16 says See then that you walk circumspectly (from a word meaning carefully or correctly), not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil (also Colossians 4:5). I’ve often benefitted from J. B. Phillips’ translation of the New Testament. His translation of this passage is: Live life, then, with a due sense of responsibility, not as men who do not know the meaning and purpose of life but as those who do. Make the best use of your time, despite all the difficulties of these days.

Live with a sense of responsibility (to God and to others) . . . know the meaning and purpose of life (as determined by God) . . . make the best use of your time (for God and His Kingdom). That’s what it means to walk circumspectly or to live life correctly. You can’t live life right unless you live the way God intended you to live. It is incumbent on followers of Christ to use the time that they have in this life for God’s glory (1 Corinthians 10:31) and to fulfill His purpose for your life. That makes time important. In fact time may be the most important thing that you have in life – use it wisely.

Here’s one last thought about time: Some day we will give an account for our time on this earth (Romans 14:12). That’s a sobering thought – to think that I will be (even now I am) accountable to God for how I use my time/life. That puts time in an entirely different perspective. Let’s determine to use our time this year in ways that are significant and meaningful – not for us but for God’s Kingdom and for eternity.

 Stay in the Word

Pastor Steve