TITLE: New Year Substitutions
DATE: January 1, 2020
Christ is risen. He is risen, indeed.
TEXT: Deuteronomy 31:6 -ESV - 6 Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.”
A forest fire once burned over some acreage near a farm in western Canada.
Many of the farm’s outbuildings were destroyed. When the embers had cooled, the farmer walked around looking over the ruins. Noticing one burned lump on the ground, the farmer prodded it with a stick. It was a hen which had been burned to death. The farmer turned the hen over, and to his surprise, out ran three baby chicks, terrified, but still chirping.
The hen had died in the flames, but somehow had saved her tiny brood.
What an example of God's love and the promise that He will protect us in 2020 and every year
Jesus has saved us at the cost of His life, but the fire of death and Satan have passed over and we are alive. There is only one thing that can ever hurt us, and that is our own hardness of heart - our own lack of faith. Jesus has used exactly that illustration when He said: "How often would I have gathered you together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings. And you would not.
God's love, working within our hearts, will be the one constant in this New Year.
You know, collecting antique weather vanes has become quite a hobby with many people today. One of the most unusual ever made was one that had the motto cast into it, "God is love." One man, seeing the casting facetiously asked, "Does that mean God's love is as changeable as the wind?"
The seller of the old vane replied, "No, indeed, it means that God is love whichever way the wind blows.
And so it is. You can believe it. God can conquer evil with good. Nothing can separate us from the love of God which is ours in Jesus Christ.
How sad that so many don't believe that. Not even really good church attendees believe it all the time. They sell out. They act as if Jesus has little importance in the big picture. They act as if their big brudder won't really help them out when the bullies arrive.
We who know Jesus will give us eternal life when we die, dare not act as if Jesus is not really active as we enter a New Year.
How eagerly we should hold onto the words of God: "Nothing will separate us from the love of God which is ours in Christ Jesus."
In this New Year let us give our whole heart to the Lord. Let’s banish pessimism in this New Year. We who have God’s hope, should allow the Holy Spirit to make some substitutions. . Instead of despair, doom and destruction we can have confidence, peace and joy.
God will enable us to conquer the world's evil, our own evil and the destruction of death with faith in the Lamb of God Who has promised never to leave us or forsake us. What a great year it will be if, at the end of it, all of us proudly say, “Nothing has been able to separate me from the love of God which is ours in Christ Jesus our Lord."
THE PRAYER: Lord, ;looking at the New Year I see a lot of days filled with unknowns. Help me know that You and Your love will shape, and bring meaning to those days. This I ask in Jesus’ Name. Amen.
The music which introduces and concludes our devotions was written by Guy Baumann. He along with three of his brothers perform on the album: The Baumann Brothers which may be ordered here: http://thebaumannbrothers.com/index.html