2002-01-01 - New Year's Day
2 Kings 20:5,6 "Thus says the Lord, the God of David your father: 'I have heard your prayer, I have seen your tears; surely I will heal you. On the third day you shall go up to the house of the Lord. And I will add to your days fifteen years.'"
I wish you all a Happy New Year. Welcome to 2002. I'm still trying to figure out if I need to worry about Y2K, but I hope to adapt soon. To reflecting minds the New Year is a time to take inventory. Since last New Year's Day we have now become one year closer to eternity. Some did not make it to see this day who did see last New Year's Day. One of the Beatles almost made it. The actor Jack Lemon did not and many others also.
Who of us can know if this year will be our last? The old concept of "redeeming time," is very worthy of putting into practice. If you thought this year would be your last, how would you spend it's opening hours? Well, it may be your last and I encourage you to spend this day as you would if you knew you would not see 2003. Such a mentality teaches us to avoid those things that we might regret when we are, in fact, close to death.
We don't all get the advantage Hezekiah had in the verses we started with. We live in a world that is in constant change. As time moves on the past is absorbed into the present and the future approaches with quickness. Who could imagine the changes and events the year now closed brought us? In September of 1999 I was on top of the World Trade center for the last time. In my wildest dreams I could not have imagined they could fall short of a nuclear attack, but they did.
The Apostle Paul was greatly moved when he went to Athens and saw a city given over to idols, Acts 17:16. He saw statues of gods and goddesses in the Parthenon and Acropolis. He found them both in public and commercial buildings also. He began his address to the people by saying, "Men of Athens, I perceive that in all things you are very religious," Acts 17:22. He went on to tell them that all their religion was unfocused, but he would proclaim the true God that, to them, was unknown. This he did.
I guess I meet a lot of religious people. I always tell my agnostic and atheist friends that they have more faith than me because it takes more faith not to believe in God than to look around and admit He exists, Romans 1:18-20. My point to them is that they are people of faith just as I am. We are all trusting in something and that makes us all people of faith. But I fear that many are like the Athenians: unfocused in their faith, going from one point to another. I would encourage you to resolve this year to focus on the object of your faith, Jesus Christ.
Put the distractions aside, and learn to rest in Christ alone. This is a difficult thing to do. I just got a letter from my church today asking me where I would like to serve in the church. For me personally, I need to tell them that my focus for this year will be upon my walk with Christ. Any service I can give them will then be better than if I fill my calendar with activities. It is hard to do because it is a great joy to be doing and doing. However, I find that sometimes when I am always doing, I am growing less in my devotion to Christ. I don't know where you are at, but I encourage you to examine your life and be sure that Christ is your focus this year.
Soli Deo Gloria,