In this season of resolutions and "becoming a new person," we invite you to join us on a journey in the seven weeks leading to Lent. Come and discover more about the baby we celebrated in the manger.
Just like you, this baby is more than what he seems. And as mysterious as that sounds, it is all explained and laid out for us in God's Word.
You can become a new person this year - a child of God and a citizen of His Kingdom, dedicated to seeking His will every day and in every action.
Need to start at the beginning? Read Week 1 Here
What’s the farthest you’ve ever walked? Around the block? A mile or two or more?
After they were freed from slavery in Egypt, the children of Israel began a long walk to the Promised Land. But this walk lasted 40 years. And it wasn't an easy walk. Along the way, God had to keep "fixing" them.
At one point, as they traveled toward the Red Sea, they began to grumble and complain. They were angry at Moses and God for taking them out of slavery. At least, while slaves, they had food and homes. But now, they would all die in the desert.
As punishment, God sent poisonous snakes and many people died.
Eventually, the Israelites realized the error of their ways and cried out to God to save them. And what did He do? He had Moses create a bronze snake and put it high on a pole, so if someone was bitten by a snake they had only to gaze up at the snake and they would be saved. Sound familiar?
Unfortunately, we often act just like the ungrateful Israelites, focusing on the negative aspects of our situations instead of seeing our blessings.
Instead of rejoicing in our freedom from sin through Jesus Christ, we gripe that our neighbor is receiving more blessings than we are.
Instead of seeing our eternal prize, we focus on our earthly lives. And only when things get REALLY bad do we finally turn our hearts and minds toward God.
Paul the Apostle was someone who believed that everyone’s best days were still in front of them. He believed with this deep conviction that, God’s not finished with me yet. He’s not finished with my church yet. He’s not finished with my family yet. He’s not finished with Israel yet. He’s not done yet.
Paul writes in Philippians 1:6, “There’s never been the slightest doubt in my mind that the God who started this great work in you would keep at it and bring it to a flourishing finish, to the very day that Christ Jesus appears.” See, God’s not setting us up to leave us halfway finished. No, He wants to bring us to a flourishing finish, which means that our best days are right in front of us.
God can turn things around. He can get you on the right track. When we’re younger, it’s easier for us to accept that truth. God’s not finished with me yet; but the older we get, sometimes, we get stale. We get comfortable and complacent, and we start to think, “Well, maybe this is just the way that I am. Maybe I’m stuck with this bad habit. Maybe I’ll never change. Maybe this is as good as it gets.”
The Good News, for us, the children of God, is that He will always take us back. No matter how often we mess up, His arms are always open, welcoming us back home. We need only to gaze up upon the cross and remember the saving grace of our Lord, Jesus Christ and rededicate our lives and hearts to Him.
We are all unfinished masterpieces on a long, painful walk home. Like the Israelites, we need to be constantly "fixed." But Jesus’ blood makes it so that we can be with God all the time, forever. His sacrifice was once for all.
You can thank God that today is another day. A fresh start. Another opportunity to put God first because you have already been forgiven. Today is another day to bring glory to God.