Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Start the year well

All photos courtesy of Unsplash 

A New Year brings fresh challenges and opportunities, but life is unpredictable! At times, the variety life brings can be very exciting, but sometimes it’s a bit frightening. Problems at home, business pressures, ongoing Covid related issues, and uncertainty! The speed of change and our helplessness to manage events can be disconcerting! Yet, as mere mortals, we cannot control our circumstances and must try to cope with what seems inevitable as well as we possibly can.

There are many situations like this in life. Sometimes illness cannot be avoided, we are affected by what other people do, and often things are out of our control. We are quite skilful at coping most of the time, but sometimes we just have to ‘go with the flow’. I am not a laid-back type of person, so I often wonder what it must be like to be relaxed and unaffected by changeable circumstances.

The ultimate uncontrollable event is death. It creeps up on every one of us. We may prolong life and improve the quality of our twilight years, but we cannot evade death in the long term! But I believe, and the Bible teaches, there is hope in the Lord Jesus Christ.

He is the only man who ever had control over His own death. It is recorded that Jesus brought at least three people back to life - see the accounts in the Bible in John 11, Luke 7:11-17 and Luke 8:40-56. When it came to His own death, Jesus voluntarily sacrificed His life. By this, I don’t mean, only that He went the place of His execution willingly but that at His crucifixion, His life did not ebb away, as it would with us. He consciously laid down His life so that we might have eternal life. Read it for yourself in the Bible, Luke 23.46. One day when the Lord Jesus was talking about His own life and death, He said – ‘I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again,’ John 10:17,18. 

The profound message of Christianity is this!

My sinful behaviour has moral consequences. God is loving, but He is also holy. His distaste of sin is such that it would be an insult to His character to allow people into His presence who have been contaminated by it. The dilemma is that God wants to share eternal life with us, His creatures, but we, historically, have distanced ourselves from Him.

What is the solution? The Bible teaches that the Son of God became a man, Jesus, through a miraculous conception but a normal birth. In His life of thirty-three years, He demonstrated that He was God by His miracles and His knowledge. He proved that He was holy and flawless in character by how He lived – even His enemies stated that there were no flaws in Him. All men die because of sin, but Jesus could not die as He was without sin, fault, wrong or error. His death was a voluntary payment for guilty humanity. As a result, God offers us pardon and forgiveness.

So how do you get this forgiveness? 

God treats His creatures as thinking individuals. He has given them the capacity to choose. The offer is on the table. Consider, grieve about, and admit your sin to God. Believe and depend on what the Lord Jesus has done and accept Him as your Saviour.

I cannot adequately describe the change you will find when you come to this point. It cannot be defined in words. It does not guarantee a problem-free existence. It will bring about changes in your lifestyle, but not enforced change that comes from keeping rules. The changes will be to your interests, and you will desire better things. It will mean your guilty status before God has been resolved. You will be saved forever.

I pray that 2022 will be a very prosperous and Happy New Year for you but in the right sense of these words.


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