A New Year in Christ!
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.
Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God. For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. (2 Corinthians 5:17-21)
Ours is a world of contrasts.
(photo credit: C. Pinsky, National Geographic)
There are always choices. The world works to blur the lines while God seeks to reveal them; to define them in our lives so we can see clearly His truth.
Light vs. Dark
Good vs. Evil
Right vs. Wrong
Up vs. Down
Wisdom vs. Foolishness
Accepted vs. Rejected
Heaven vs. Hell
Life vs. Death
Give vs. Take
Vigilance vs. Complacency
Others vs. Self
God… vs. all other gods.
Which do you choose?
Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me.
— Phillipians 3:12
‘I was laid hold of by Jesus Christ.’ That is how Paul thinks of what we call his conversion. He would never have ‘turned’ unless a hand had been laid upon him. A strong loving grasp had gripped him in the midst of his career of persecution, and all that he had done was to yield to the grip, and not to wriggle out of it…
There is suggested in the word, too, distinctly, our Lord’s personal action in the matter…laid hold of by the personal action of Jesus Christ. He is present in His Word, and, by multitudes of inward impulses and outward providences, He is putting out a gentle and a firm hand, and laying it upon the shoulders of all of us. Have we yielded? Have we resisted, when we were laid hold of? Did we try to get away? Did we plant our feet and say, ‘I will not be drawn,’ or did we simply neglect the pressure? If we have yielded, my text tells us what we have to do next. For that hand is laid upon a man for a purpose, and that purpose is not secured by the hand being laid upon him, unless he, in his turn, will put out a hand and grasp. Our activity is needed; that activity will not be put forth without very distinct effort, and that effort has to be life-long, because our grasp at the best is incomplete.
— Alexander Mclaren (1826-1910)
I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.
– Genesis 12:1-3
God bless America!
The righteous man walks in his integrity;
His children are blessed after him.
— Proverbs 20:7
A blessed daughter.
“By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God…
…so that the things which are seen…
…were not made of things which are visible.” (Hebrews 11:3)
Chickaloon Bay and Turnagain Arm, Alaska (PANC – June 10, 2018)
But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.
(2 Corinthians 3:18)