Endings, Beginnings – Having Perspective at the End of the Year, before the Start of the New Year.

I encourage you to read through these thoughts that I shared with our church on Sunday, December 30th, 2012. The Lord Jesus Christ is the one that we can and need to trust in as we begin a new year.

As we look ahead there are many things that are uncertain: how much will the taxes we pay increase? How will our healthcare be affected? Will the cost of groceries go up? What will the economy of our country be like? Will we have enough money to cover our expenses? These are real questions. We do not know the answers to them. In the midst of all of that we trust in our God to take care of us, provide for us, watch over us and help us cope with the unknown. And so, what hope, strength and reassurance can we draw from God’s Word over this?

A.  Having a Healthy Perspective on the things we face.

  1. Some Key things said about the Lord – He knows the End from the Beginning – Isaiah 46:8 – 11
    • Remember this, Recall this
    • “I am God and there is no other”
    • “I will accomplish my Will”
    • God is not being smug and just feeling good about Himself. Rather He is declaring the truth of who He is, how He does things, and that He is trustworthy, because what He plans to do, He carries out fully.

2. I will be with you to the end of the age – Matt 28:20

  • Jesus just told the disciples to Go and make disciples, to teach them, baptize them all over the world
  • He reassures them also by telling them they will not have to do it alone. He will be with them/us to help bring it to pass. We don’t have to rely on our own strength and ingenuity to see it happen. We can rely on Him.

3. I will never leave you nor forsake you, do not be afraid – Hebrews 13:5,6

  • Hospitality, those in jail, marriage, and then those words about the love of money – and rather than doing that, rely on the Lord and remember these things about Him – promises that He reiterates – promises that were first made to His people in the OT – in Deuteronomy 31:5 and
  • Psalm 56:3,4,11 – When I am afraid I will trust in you. I realize that the answer to my problems is not just what I can do to solve it or make it happen.

4.  In the world you will have difficulty but I have overcome the world – John 16:33

  • Peace, tribulation, overcoming the world
  • Amplified Version for that last phrase: ‘[I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you.]’
  • Jesus spoke those words as He was with the disciples right before He went to the garden of Gethsemane and was arrested, and the process leading to His crucifixion began.

 

5. Let not your hearts be troubled – I have overcome the world – John 14:27

  • Jesus reassured the disciples that He was going to send the Holy Spirit who would teach and guide them.
  • He also was going to send His peace to reassure them when things got tough.
  • The Amplified Version puts it this way: “The Friend, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send at my request, will make everything plain to you. He will remind you of all the things I have told you. I’m leaving you well and whole. That’s my parting gift to you. Peace. I don’t leave you the way you’re used to being left—feeling abandoned, bereft. So don’t be upset. Don’t be distraught.”

B.  Reassurance in what we face because He really is in charge and walks with us, step by step.

  1. He was very involved at the beginning when everything was created. He is very much with us day by day through out what we face, and will be very involved at the end when He wraps everything up.
  • I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end – Rev 21:6
  • The Message says this, “Then he said, “It’s happened. I’m A to Z. I’m the Beginning, I’m the Conclusion. From Water-of-Life Well I give freely to the thirsty. Conquerors inherit all this. I’ll be God to them, they’ll be sons and daughters to me.”

2. The beginning, the first born from the dead – Col 1:18. He was the first one to be resurrected. We too will be resurrected. Our bodies will be transformed just as He was transformed.

  • The Message says this: “He was supreme in the beginning and—leading the resurrection parade—he is supreme in the end. From beginning to end he’s there, towering far above everything, everyone. So spacious is he, so roomy, that everything of God finds its proper place in him without crowding.”

C.  And so to wrap it up, as we begin the new year, we have much to thank God for, and we have the reassurance from Him that He is with us, is watching over us. When we are afraid or anxious we can trust in Him. He will take care of us.

 

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