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Purpose

The beginning of a new year always brings about thoughts of setting new goals or maybe revisiting old ones that we never quite accomplished from years past. I recognize that everyone is different, and some people thrive on having goals set for them. While others would rather just kind of take life as it comes. The problem with setting goals is the pressure to hit those goals and dealing with the guilt of not making them. I guess it’s not just goals, but the ability to accomplish any task that we set before us, or someone sets for us.

There is great satisfaction when a goal is reached, and a task completed. Then there are feelings of regret and failure when they are not accomplished. The question I ask is what happened? Why did I not get what I wanted to get done accomplished? I think there is one underlying truth to every task and goal that is not reached. The purpose was not totally understood. It is hard to reach a goal or accomplish a task when we do not totally understand why we are doing what we are supposed to be doing.

Think about the life of Jesus just for a moment. What was His purpose for being born and living this life? What was the goal of His ministry? Was it not to die for the sins of man and draw them into a relationship with God so that we may have eternal life with Him? Have you ever thought what would have happened if Jesus would have fulfilled His goals and purpose as faithful as we do? Good possibility we would all be in heap big trouble.

How was Jesus able to fulfill the goal and task of His life? He completely understood His purpose and task. He understood it early and it was the anchor that held Him when the enemy of the world tried to get Him sidetracked. His purpose was cemented in the word of the Father. Luke 4:18-19, “THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD IS UPON ME, BECAUSE HE ANOINTED ME TO PREACH THE GOSPEL TO THE POOR. HE HAS SENT ME TO PROCLAIM RELEASE TO THE CAPTIVES, AND RECOVERY OF SIGHT TO THE BLIND, TO SET FREE THOSE WHO ARE OPPRESSED, TO PROCLAIM THE FAVORABLE YEAR OF THE LORD.” Jesus was able to fulfill that which He was called because He kept this purpose ever before Him. Even when the devil approached Him and tried to get Him sidetracked, Jesus knew to stay focused. If He did not all would be lost and He used His most powerful weapon, God’s word. 

My challenge I would present is to really know what the Lord wants us to do and find scripture to back that up. When the world tries to sidetrack us, and it will, we can quote the very scripture of our purpose in the face of the enemy and continue on our path to fulfilling our call. What is the scripture that speaks to your call and purpose? If you don’t know, look, and see that our call and purpose is backed by God’s word and there is nothing more powerful than that. 



Tears

When we are young Christmas time is just so magical. It brought only good thoughts and memories. As I have matured the notion that the holidays are magical has kind of lost its luster. I really believed that during the week of Christmas tragedy could not touch people’s lives. Sadly, as we grow up, we find that this is not true at all. The boney finger of death never takes a holiday and people that we love and care about hurt ever so much when those they love depart from them. The truth is that this year has stunk to the highest heaven and I have no regrets or sadness of turning the page of 2020 to 2021. The only regret is that I cannot take the hurt and pain that comes from living this life. Yet, I know the One that can. Let me remind you of King Jesus.

Revelation 7:17, “for the Lamb in the center of the throne will be their shepherd, and will guide them to springs of the water of life; and God will wipe every tear from their eyes.” It doesn’t matter if death takes the life of someone we love or we are reminded of hurt and division from a broken family we have a Savior that hears and sees. There will be a day that every tear that we shed will be wiped away by the very hand of our God. I hate it that for many the holidays only bring up memoires of hurt and pain. That pain does not just go away but know that Jesus isn’t going anywhere either. He has promised us in John 14:27, “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.” Grab on to these words in this new year. Better days are coming because Jesus is coming. Let us stand together through all that befalls us for our King is with us. It is always darkest right before the dawn.

He who testifies to these things says, Yes, I am coming quickly.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus. The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen.



New Year

It is crazy to think that we just have a few days left in this year. I know what you’re thinking, “Thank God.” Well, I think many would concur with that sentiment. What will this new year bring? If you are like me, you think it has got to be better than 2020. At least we have to hope so. That brings up a great topic for a blog, don’t you think?

What are your hopes and expectations for this next year? Is there more fear in your future or a great victory on the horizon? Will you take that leap of faith to do something for the Lord that you have been holding off on, or will 2021 be just another year of sitting in a pew?

The beautiful thing about a new year is just that. It is a new year. A time of starting over, a chance to move forward and not backwards, to experience the Lord in a new and powerful way. The question we may have to ask is what is stopping us? I will just say it, fear. You know it and I know it. Fear is that thing that always keeps us from experiencing all that the Lord has in store for us. Fear locks us down and locks us away. Let me remind us that fear is not to have any part in our lives. II Timothy 1:7, “For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” If we are not given a spirit of fear from God where does that come from? You guessed it and I’m not even going to type his name. Specifically, we are not to be afraid to proclaim the name of Jesus and to live a life that is to glorify Christ.

Let this new year be a year where the followers of Jesus become courageous and fearless. To be reminded that we serve an awesome and powerful God.  In John 10:29 Jesus tells us, “My Father who has given them to Me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.” We can be fearless because our God is stronger than all. Isn’t that a great truth to remember as we face a new year of excitement and challenges. No one can snatch us from our Savior Jesus Christ and that is what makes it possible for us to be bold and fearless. I say bring on 2021 and let us watch our God work.



Why Christmas?

What is the big deal about Christmas anyway? Why do people get so worked up about this holiday? I suppose if you asked thirty people you may get thirty different answers. The truth that people take this holiday seriously is not in question. Just take a drive and see all the Clark Griswold wannabes as we see homes that look like, to quote Aunt Bethany, “Is your house on fire Clark?” We don’t bat an eye on spending a little more for electricity as long as our home looks more festive. Then there’s the tree that we put up in our house? Is that the action of sane people? Let’s be honest we just get downright silly this time of year. Don’t even get me started on the craziness of shopping to find the “perfect” present.

Yet, somewhere in the midst of the whirlwind of this holiday we have to come to the realization that there must be something special that has happened. As followers of Jesus, we know exactly what it is. It is celebrating the birth of the Lord and Savior of the whole world, Jesus the Christ. It is celebrating in spite of the darkness that is quickly surrounding us, enveloping us. There is hope and it came in the form of a baby born over 2,000 years ago in a village in the middle east called Bethlehem. It is there the Light of the world was born, to bring hope and salvation to all who would call upon His name.

Sadly, there are many who really don’t understand the truth about this wonderful holiday that we celebrate. Society has made it about fat bearded guys, talking snowmen, and buying the toy everyone wants, but nobody can get. When I think upon these things it truly saddens me. So many people participate but cannot really celebrate because the truth has eluded them. The truth is that many do not want to know the truth of what Christmas is really about. That is why we have government officials who think they can cancel Christmas. Like this is some date on a calendar that can be done away with a swipe of a pen. NO, let me shout it out again, NO! Man cannot delete, dilute, or do away with what our God has done. Jesus, the Savior of the world has been born. I am begging all who would read this blog, do not let the circumstances of a virus, or even the foolishness of man rob from you the beautiful gift that God has given. Celebrate, go tell it on the mountain, that Jesus is born.

Hebrews 12:2, “Looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”

Let me go back to answer the question of why. Why do we celebrate this day we call Christmas? Because God came in the flesh to rescue us from death and the grave, to set us free from the clutches of Satan and sin. He came to die upon our cross, paying the penalty for our sin, so that we may be called the sons and daughters of God. Then, He is coming to take us home someday. Why Christmas? JESUS that’s why!