Dear Friends and Fellow Disciples,
2021! A New Year has begun! While remnants of the past year still affect us, we are moving closer to resolutions that mean more than desired change in our personal lives. We will see a new term of government begin, we will see millions of vaccines injected, and hopefully we will see positive movement in the actualization of real justice for all people in our nation and states.
For most of us as regular citizens we will not be involved in systemic change in any of the major issues which burst onto the scene in the previous year or reached their tipping point. We do not have the power, authority or position, to make policy or enforce civil law or cultural change. However, that does not leave us in the margin or dismiss us to the irrelevant. Our commission is to do more than contribute to social change by being instruments of eternal change.
We have been entrusted with the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Gospel has the power to change eternal destinies, bring healing to the sick, hope to the hopeless and meaning and purpose to the lowly. The acceptance of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior as well as the indwelling of the Holy Spirit is a complete transformation for anyone who believes. We are healed by His stripes, we become citizens of the eternal Kingdom of God, and we know that justice was accomplished on our behalf by God’s Son.
The maladies that exist have their source in sin and the spiritual forces that are opposed to God the Father. Since that first act of rebellion in Paradise humans have been caught up in the battle for God’s Glory. As we learned in our study in spiritual warfare last year, we know the war is over and Jesus won the victory for God and for our salvation.
We also learned that the enemy has not given up even though he is defeated. Unfortunately, the collateral damage of this battle has great ramification for all of us. We need not be shocked or amazed at the level to which the enemy seeks to sink our world for his amusement.
The hard thing for me (I am sure I am not alone) is to realize that people are not the problem. The enemies greatest weapon is deception. Those who are still lost in their sin and even some well-meaning people of faith are deceived by the enemy’s humanistic ideologies and philosophies that draw so many away from the Holy Glory of the One True God. Those who are deceived see the answer to the problems of the world in the institutions of government, education and social action, while the only true eternal resolution comes through faith and obedience to the Sovereign Creator. He has given us His word to inform us and His Spirit to guide and empower us so that His will will be done on earth.
Our greatest weapon coming into the New Year will be prayer. We must pray for His leading to guide us to share His message of love. We must pray for His Spirit to lead us in generously ministering to those who most need compassionate love that will lead them to our Savior. We must pray as directed in the Word for our governmental leaders regardless of party affiliation. We must pray for God to reign supreme in our own hearts and reveal to us what is limiting our own experience of Him and turn away from those things. I look forward to our time of fasting this year to join you in an increased reliance on His Spirit and an increased corporate prayer for God’s Glory in our lives.
Many have celebrated the ending of last year, but my hope is not in a new number on a page, it is in my God who is bigger than all the calendars of the world and who will live beyond the very concept of calendars altogether. My hope is not in a vaccine that prevents disease, but a Savior who heals body and soul. My confidence is not in a governmental system that inconsistently attempts to help its people, but in an Eternal Kingdom ruled by a King who never changes.
I have high hopes for our New Year, and I hope you do too. My hopes are firmly grounded in the promises of a King who is eternally faithful. I look forward to sharing all that the Lord will bring to our lives in this season. Continue to pray and see what God will do.
In the Bond of Peace,