New Year Challenges and Changes

new year

new year

NEW YEAR CHALLENGES

A New Year brings fresh challenges and opportunities but life is so unpredictable! At times, the variety life brings can be very exciting but sometimes it’s a bit frightening. That flood in the house, the illness that took us by surprise! The speed of change and our helplessness can be disconcerting! As mere mortals, we cannot control our circumstances and have to try to cope with what is inevitable as well as we possibly can.

UNAVOIDABLE SITUATIONS

There are many situations like this in life. Illness often cannot be avoided, we are affected by what other people do, and often circumstances are out of our control. Most of the time we are quite skilful at coping but sometimes we just have to go with the flow. I am not a laid back type of person so I often wonder what it must be like to be relaxed and unaffected by changeable circumstances.

new yearDEATH

The ultimate uncontrollable event is death. It creeps up on every one of us. We may prolong life and improve the quality of our twilight years but we cannot evade death in the long term! I believe, and the Bible teaches, that there is hope in Jesus.

JESUS HAS CONTROL OVER DEATH

He is the only man who ever had control over his own death. It is recorded that Jesus brought at least three people back to life – see the accounts in the Bible in John 11, Luke 7:11-17 and Luke 8:40-56. When it came to His own death, Jesus voluntarily sacrificed His life. By this, I don’t mean only that He went the place of His execution willingly but that at His crucifixion His life did not ebb away, as it would with us. He consciously laid down His life so that we might have eternal life. Read it for yourself in the Bible, Luke 23.46. The Bible states it explicitly when it says ‘Christ died for our sins’.

THE PROFOUND MESSAGE OF CHRISTIANITY

The profound message of Christianity is this! My sinful behaviour has moral consequences. God is loving but He is also holy. His distaste of sin is such that it would be an insult to His character to allow people into His presence who have been marked by it. The dilemma is that God wants to share eternal life with His creatures but we, historically, have distanced ourselves from Him.

new yearTHE BIBLICAL SOLUTION

What is the solution according to the Bible? The Son of God became a man through a miraculous conception but a normal birth. In His life of thirty-three years, He demonstrated that He was God by His miracles and His knowledge. He proved that He was holy and flawless in character by how he lived – even his enemies stated that there were no flaws in Him. All men die because of sin but Jesus could not die as He was without sin, fault, wrong or error. His death was a voluntary payment for guilty humanity. As a result, God offers us pardon and forgiveness.

RECEIVING FORGIVENESS

So how do you get this forgiveness? God treats His creatures as thinking individuals. He has given them the capacity to choose. The offer is still on the table. Consider, grieve about and admit your sin to God, not a religious person or organisation. Believe and depend on what the Lord Jesus has done and accept Him as your Saviour.

NEW YEAR CHANGES

I cannot describe the change that you will find when you come. It cannot be defined in words. It does not guarantee a problem-free existence. It will bring about changes in your lifestyle, not enforced change as a result of rules but changes in interests and desires for better things. It will mean your guilty status before God has been resolved. You will be saved forever.
Read the Bible and seek the Lord while He may be found.
Images Courtesy of:
2019   – Covi
Cafe – Pexels
Cemetery – TazzAnderson
Woman and clock  –EnginAkyurt
Article Courtesy of:
findthemissingpeace.co.uk

Come unto me… and I will give you rest

“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” Matthew 11v28

The Absence of Rest

As dusk settles on our city all seems peaceful. But, under this appearance of rest, turmoil and struggle abound. From day to day, the burdens, the disappointments, and sorrows of life bear down upon us, and in the darkest hours of struggle we can feel helpless, even hopeless.

Yet, in this helplessness there is hope. There, we realise that the source of our burden is our separation from God.  We begin to understand that rather than rest in our God and trust in Him, we have sought to follow our own path, to our own hurt. And there, we realise our own responsibility – that our sins have separated us from God (Isaiah 59:2).

At first, this seems to increase our helplessness. We wonder how we could ever be reconciled with God, knowing it is impossible for us to ever do enough to make things right with Him (Romans 3:10-20).

The Hope of Rest

But, in this darkest of hours hope appears, and descending into our darkness, Jesus Christ, ‘the Light of the world’ (John 9:5), invites us to find reconciliation and rest in Him.  Truly, these are words of hope:

Come unto me … and I will give you rest

This rest is not the kind of temporary rest we experience in this life.  Rather, it is a complete and eternal rest. A rest that knows the work of reconciliation is finished, once and for all, and this was accomplished through Jesus Christ, when God ‘made peace through the blood of His cross, to reconcile all things unto Himself’ (Colossians 1:20).

This rest has its source in God alone, yet Jesus Christ said, ‘I will give you rest’. There can be no other explanation than to understand that Jesus Christ is God – not another God, for there is only One God, the Creator, who having completed His work of creation, ‘rested on the seventh day’ (Genesis 2:2).

The Restoration of Rest

Now Jesus Christ, the author of rest, has come ‘to be the Saviour’ (1 John 4:14), the restorer of rest. He has come to ‘bare our sins in His own body on the tree’ (1 Peter 2:24); to make reparation for our wrongs.  For God ‘hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him (2 Corinthians 5:21). This is a real and eternal hope, for it is based in the finished work of Christ.

Now, when we come in our helplessness to Jesus Christ, and repent of our sin, He lifts us up saying, ‘Your sins are forgiven … go in peace’ (Luke 7:48,50).  This forgiveness brings us to have peace with God (Romans 5:1), and as we come into His gracious presence, we come to enjoy the peace of God (Philippians 4:9). This is the rest Jesus Christ invites us to.

The Invitation to Rest

We have seen that the provision of this rest cost God a great deal. But for us, who ‘labour and are heavy laden’, this rest is free.

All our obligations have been paid in full by Jesus Christ, and all He asks of us is to come. He wants us to trust Him: to accept His provision and His promise. It is when we fully trust Him that we find fulness of rest.

‘Come unto me, all you that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn of me, for I am meek and lowly of heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls’.

Come to Jesus Christ now, and be at rest.

 

(source : forwardinhope.com)