As we enter into a new year I’d like to share with you all a few verses of Scripture that are meaningful to me during times of transition. They help to me to look back at what God has done in my life, look around to see God at work in the hear-and-now, and also to look forward to what God will be doing in the days, weeks, and months to come in 2020.
“Look! I’m doing a new thing; now it sprouts up; don’t you recognize it? I’m making a way in the desert, paths in the wilderness.” Isaiah 43:19
This verse was written while God’s people were still in exile, far from their homeland. God speaks through the prophet Isaiah to say that there is new hope and that the people will be able to return home. I don’t know what your 2019 looked like, but I bet it had a few “desert” and “wilderness” moments AT LEAST! God brought new beginnings to the Israelites in exile and God can bring new beginnings to us as well.
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14 After John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee announcing God’s good news, 15 saying, “Now is the time! Here comes God’s kingdom! Change your hearts and lives, and trust this good news!” Mark 1:14-15
These verses come from early on in Mark’s Gospel. Jesus begins his public ministry by proclaiming that God’s kingdom is not only coming, but it’s NEAR and AT HAND. God’s kingdom isn’t a physical location or a place: it’s what things look like when God’s way is followed. Let us turn our heads toward the future and continue to change our hearts and lives by trusting in the Good News of Jesus.
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31 But these things are written so that you will believe that Jesus is the Christ, God’s Son, and that believing, you will have life in his name. John 20:31
My favorite way of describing what it means to be a Christian is to say that it means having life in the name of Jesus. That means he is our compass, our companion, our helper, and our friend. He is our Savior and Lord. His words are the foundation that keep us steady and his love is what gives us hope. As we enter into 2020, let it be a year of life in the name of Jesus.
God’s blessings to you all. In Christ, Ed