On New Year’s Day, we started a new schedule-one service at 10:00. It is a time of new
beginnings and unity. Pastor Brandon Harrison shared his main idea as “God makes all things new.” His suggestions were look back; look within; and look ahead.
As we “look back,” we can become mired in the mud of 2020, 2021, and 2022, but God…. He does not want us to stay in the past, to be stuck there. The LORD wants us to review the past and learn from it. The question Pastor Brandon posed was “How has God been faithful?” When Jesus was sharing with His disciples, he answered,”This is my body which is given for you, do this in remembrance of me.” (Luke 22:19) He sacrificed for us through His life, death and resurrection so that we can be “a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” (2 Corinthians 5:17) What a faithful LORD we have.
Next, Pastor Brandon advised us to “look within.” The big questions here included “How is my heart?” “How is my walk with God?” 1 Corinthians 11:28 undergirds these questions with the advice to “examine ourselves.” It is hard to look in the mirror and see the age spots and the winkles get deeper and seem to multiply, but that is reality. To examine my heart is even more daunting because I need to evaluate my motives, thoughts, and attitudes. Are they acceptable to God’s standards, or do I rationalize that they are adequate for the world’s standards. Am I God focused or me focused. Am I looking at how I can serve Him or how I can get attention? Let me look at my heart with your eyes and with Your Spirit, LORD.
Finally, Pastor Brandon reminded us to “look ahead” with the big question of “How does Eternity shape my life today?” When I mull over that question, I ask if my actions and words reflect Jesus as my LORD and Savior or Jesus as my Sunday only friend? Do I remember that in Lamentations 3:22 that the “steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; His mercies never come to an end.”? Do my thoughts, words, and actions reflect that reality? If not, I need to readjust my thoughts so that my words and actions are in line with Him.
Another question posed was “What am I expecting God to do for and through me this year?” Psalm 23:6 states that “goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life….” How can this fact be shown through me? Since His faithful love endures forever, may I let Him use me to bless others. Please, LORD, open my eyes and soften my heart to your hurting children.
Thank you, LORD, that you make all things new. Even as we are in our seventies, we are
changing, learning, growing and serving. May the changes glorify the LORD so that we can be salt and light in this troubled world.
Written by Larry and Annette Linthicum