A faulty calendar

I looked at my calendar the other day and it said it was January 2013! Surely this is a mistake. Preparing to take it back to the newsagent and getting a proper calendar, I checked my phone and then my computer, and finally I asked a most trustworthy person – all these assured me that the calendar was accurate; it is January 2013!

Some of us are probably looking forward to certain events coming up this year. Some of us may be anxious about certain events we know we will be facing this year. Most of us probably have a mixture of both excitement and anxiety as we anticipate the highs and lows in the year ahead. For all of us, much of the year ahead remains a mystery.

James said, “Now look here, you people who say, ‘Today, or tomorrow, we will go to such-and-such town and spend a year there, and trade, and make some money.’ You have no idea what the next day will bring. What is your life? You are a mist which appears for a little while and then disappears again. Instead, you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we shall live, and we shall do this, or that.’ ” (James 3:13-15)

What we can say with absolute certainty is this: God is closer to me, than I am to myself. This is not based on a feeling or positive wishful thinking. This is based on God’s own promises.

“I will never, ever, leave you or forsake you” promises Hebrews 13:5. Continuing (in v.6) it says “That’s why we can be cheerfully confident, and say ‘The Lord is helping me; I’m not going to be afraid; what can anyone do to me?'”

My New Year’s resolution is to take God’s promise as a statement about what is true, and then live accordingly.

What about you?


A New Beginning

A New Beginning

Welcome to 2013 – an unknown year of possibilities, joys, heartaches and whatever else life will throw at us. Expect the unexpected.

It is a new beginning, and at this time of each year most of us have a new hope of some sort. We can put behind us the disappointments, frustrations and difficulties of the old year. We can perhaps be like Paul who wrote the following words to the believers in Philippi: But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

Every day we can have a new hope in Christ. At this time of year we can draw strength from new beginnings, new possibilities and changes in our lives. Many people make New Year’s Resolutions: perhaps to lose weight, or exercise more, start saving money, to read the Bible more or some other commendable virtue.

The sad truth is that most people also trip up on their resolutions within a few days. Studies have shown that it takes at least 21 days of dedicated, serious discipline to form a new habit. Most give up after a few days.

I have never been one to make resolutions; I prefer to set long term goals and work steadily over the whole year towards them. Works for me; it’s not for everyone.

Did you realise that Jesus made a resolution – though it probably was not at New Year? He was determined on one set course for his life. He was firmly resolved, utterly determined to set out on a journey throughout his ministry on earth that took him to the Cross.

Even at the last minute he almost hesitated. “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” He struggled with the goal set before him, but he knew it must happen in order to fulfil the scriptures. He was totally determined, utterly resolved to be obedient to his father in heaven.

Jesus did this because he loved each one of us. And in that supreme love for each one of us, he gave his life so that we may have life, life abundantly and life eternally. That is the new hope we have each day in Christ Jesus. It is that new hope that we celebrate each week in taking communion.