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  • Writer's pictureJoseph A. Bias

Year End/Beginning Contemplations

"Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ..." Philippians 1:6
"And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: and if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him." 1 John 5:14 -15

The end of a year, naturally, speaks to the start of a New Year, and an opportunity for a fresh start to almost everything. The end of the year also prompts us to take a look back, to remember those significant moments in the past year, good or regrettable that we wish we could do over, and change or live again with pleasure. Getting a do-over is good, but sometimes what we need is a complete reset in many things.

Certainly, we can all see that our country is in spiritual (Reverence of God) decline and is teetering on the brink of complete moral, social, political, and economic collapse.

The greatest need we all must face, despite what we see and hear going on around us, is objective self-examination for the long term. Where are we in relation to where God intends for us to be? It's easy to say about political and social situations, "Well God is in control and He's working His will, so everything is going to turn out just the way He has planned." Is that confessed as truth or just a fatalistic resignation to the way things are? Are we really helpless, or might there be some degree of laziness on our part that invites us to do nothing to change things, or is it matter of predestination that we believe all things happen the way they happen whether we willingly participate in them or not?

Is that God's plan? Or, is there a condition we must meet in order to share in the future inheritance promised us of eternal salvation and life more abundantly here on earth in Jesus Christ our Lord?

In one sense the answer is simple. Of course, what God has promised He will do. And what He has begun He will complete. But the question is, does my free will mean I can act and live contrary to God's laws day after day, year after year, not obeying Him, even opposing, and denying Him, and still enjoy the blessing of His favor? Is that pleasing to Him? We are right to rest our faith on the fact that God is working in us both to will and to do of His good pleasure. Yes, God gives us the desire to please Him in all things but the doing is still a matter of our choice.

The answer to that question is a resounding, No! All things, of every promise of God to us, is dependent on one thing from us. Our faith. Faith in Him determines our future.

Consider these words from the Scriptures.

"By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God. 6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. 7 By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith." Hebrews 11:5-7

There were two conditions by which these men received the promises of God. First, they believed and thenthey acted on what they believed. They had faith and they took action.

Surely, God sends His rain on the just and the unjust. All creation receives of His goodness. But the blessings of the sons of God, the called according to His purpose, the Church, are exclusive to those who by faith believe and then move to do His will and thus receive the promise.

We cannot faithfully expect to receive the righteous blessings of God by living unrighteous lives of unbelief and disobedience. Enoch, like every man, was given the choice to please God or please others or himself. He chose God and acted in accordance with God's will for his life. Thus, he had the testimony that he pleased God.

Likewise, Noah, believed God and with no other evidence than what God had spoken to him he got busy building the Ark for a time to come, a time that he could not see. But he did it anyway and by doing so he saved himself and his family, which by the way, includes you and me.

So, here's a question for today. Whose future destiny is our faith in God and obedience to His call dependent on today? Whose future will be affected positively or negatively by what we do today? That should be a sobering thought. We gladly welcome the thought that somewhere in the future someone will be positively drawn to Christ because we blessed someone today. But we can also, by our words and actions that are not from God, set in motion a series of events in the lives of future generations that can result in something undesirable and negative.

We see that happening in our culture, in our education system with the indoctrination of young people into false and destructive notions about their identity and abusing and mutilating their bodies at a naive age only to have them regret it later and be physically and psychologically damaged for life because of it.

But we who belong to Christ and are led by the Holy Spirit must be sober, vigilant, and prompt to respond to the call of God in all things, particularly as pertains to loving one another as Christ also loves us.

We all love the security of being able to depend on someone or something. We all want to be confident in the future, that we are prepared for whatever will come, and that things promised will be fulfilled.

We want to know that somebody's got our backs. The greatest and easiest work of ministry we all have and are equipped to do is give what has been given unto us and the keep the flow of blessing going until all have heard and received the message of Jesus Christ our Savior and Lord of all creation.

Is God prompting you to do something with the gifts and talents He has given you? Has he been speaking to you to bless someone in a specific way, a word of encouragement, a gift of material property, a prophecy, an exhortation, a meal, an embrace, an expression of love and gratitude, a rebuke, a reproof, a correction, a gentle touch, a word of wisdom, word of knowledge, a simple gift, or a surprise blessing of extravagant measure? Whatever it is, don't miss the call or the opportunity God is giving you. Do it now! Get on with it, whether you can see the end result or not; whether it's convenient or inconvenient. Do it by faith and do it with joy!!

God has called each of us to His service. But not all those He calls will answer. Many are called but few are chosen. To be counted among those that are chosen is our decision.

As we look back on the past year and look forward to the year ahead, let us resolve to draw closer to Him by faith believing And doing/living His Word. Knowing in our hearts that He is, and that as we draw near to Him, He will draw near to us. Yes! He is with us and by the Holy Spirit He is in us and is working His will in us. Our part daily is to decide who we will serve. When we choose to serve God, we choose Life. And that Life is Jesus Christ our Lord.

"And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. 13 These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God." 1John 5:11-13
"And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life." 1John 5:20

If we love Him, we will keep His commandments. What dream do you have for 2023? Is it big enough to be God sized? With men it is impossible, but with God all things are possible. Through faith and obedience to God, ALL things ARE POSSIBLE!!!

2023 is The Year of Increased Wisdom From Above to all the people of God and The Year of Great Abundance of Health, Wealth, and Wisdom here on earth to proclaim the Gospel here at home from the highest corridors of government, media and corporate power and influence, to the lowliest man, woman, and child who struggle just to keep food on their tables and a roof over their heads. in 2023 the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ will penetrate and dispel the darkness over this nation from institutions and individuals who have sought to kill, steal, and destroy. In2023 God is turning the hearts of the fathers to their children and hearts of the disobedient to the wisdom of the just to make us a people ready and prepared for the Lord.

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