Thursday, December 29, 2022

Pastor's Ponderings, December 29, 2022

Let Us Start Anew in 2023


In the last Pastor’s Pondering entry of 2022, we are looking forward to 2023 and remembering 2022.  We have a feeling of being Janus-faced.  According to the dictionary, it means “having two faces, one looking forward, one looking backward, as the Roman deity Janus.” What did we accomplish in 2022 and what do we look forward to accomplishing in 2023?


The Bible says that we must keep the perspective of looking towards the future.  We are to forget the past and to press forward toward a future with Christ (Philippians 3:13-14).  For example, in the 1994 musical, Lion King, the character Rafiki says, “The past can hurt. But the way I see it, you can either run from it or learn from it.”  Will we take the lessons from the past, hold onto the hurts, despair, and suffering or will we decide that the old things have passed away and now all things are new (2 Corinthians 5:17)? 


While it may be true that those who are close to you may make it their business to remind you of who you were and what you did, you must investigate God’s word and know that you are what He says you are and can do what He says you can do. The Bible tells us that God’s mercies are renewed every morning so every morning we can rise know that whatever we did yesterday, we can repent, ask forgiveness, and receive His fresh mercy (Lamentations 3:22-23). 


Despite challenges in one’s life, the Bible says we should know that God loves us, has prepared a place for us with Christ Jesus, and wants to demonstrate the incomparable riches of His grace in the future (Ephesians 2:4-7). Let us go boldly forward into 2023 knowing that God loves His children and has great plans for us (Jeremiah 29:11).


Philippians 3:13-14

New International Version

13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 
14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.


2 Corinthians 5:17

New International Version

17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here


Lamentations 3:22-23

New King James Version

22 Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not.

23 They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.


Ephesians 2:4-7

New International Version

4 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 
5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. 
6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 
7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.


Jeremiah 29:11

New International Version

11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.







No comments: