A New Year

Do you hear it? Do you hear that collective sigh, as all the busy days of Thanksgiving and Christmas have come to an end. The tree is down, the last of the pine needles have been swept up, the decorations are back in the closet and life is somewhat back to normal.

As we look down the road of a new year in our life, we are starting a new chapter. All the road signs are new, the pavement is in great condition, all the yellow markers on the pavement are vivid and our automobile is full of gas. Now we need to choose a direction to travel.

This time of year finds all of us wondering about the future and what direction we will take in life this year. This applies to all of us, Christians who have accepted God’s salvation and are serving Him; and those in the world that still have not found the truth. This seems to be one of the times in the year that we examine our life and what we have done with it and what we will do with a brand new year. As Christians we ask ourselves have we done all that we can, but know deep in our heart that there is room for improvement.

Paul gives us some good advice on how to run this race of life. “Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. Therefore I run thus; not with uncertainly. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified. 1 Corinthians 9: 24,25b,26&27. NKJV.

Paul is telling us that we all are running the race of life. That as Christians, we need to strive to be as God wants us; not for salvation because Jesus took care of that on the cross when we put our trust in Him, but because we love Him and for the crown that will be ours someday in heaven. The Bible tells us that one day, our works that we did while on this earth, will be judged. When we stand before the Lord He will try them by fire to see which are only wood, hay and straw or the precious things of gold, silver and precious stones. I Corinthians 3:12-15. Paul also states that he fights to live as God wants him to be, so that others cannot point to him as being a hypocrite “disqualified”. In his love for God Paul does his best to live the life God demands of him and us. He strives to live morally, serve others, obey the commands of the Bible, study the scriptures, and tell the truth of life to everyone he meets and many other actions.

Paul’s books in the Bible show these very actions by him.

We do not need to look far to see the struggle we have, to live the pure life that God commands of us all. We only have to try to watch a TV program, to watch a movie, to listen to the radio or just walk down the street. The immorality of this world hits us head on. We are bombarded on all sides, but the Lord is there to help us by way of the Holy Spirit. He is there to give us the strength to resist. He is there to help us turn the dial off. He is there to help us read the Bible and pray every day. He is there to help us teach our family the ways of the Lord. He is there to give us the courage to stand up against those that would assail us. We have a God that is there for us to lean on, to give our troubles to and He will comfort and guide us. The Lord will walk with us as we face trials, physical pain and heartache. In other words, the Lord wants us to completely lean and trust in Him. We have to do our part by trusting in Him and allowing Him to share our hurts, joys, prayers and disappointments, but He will do it.

It is my prayer that as we all start this journey into 2016 that we will continue to turn the steering wheel over to God. That we will allow Him to guide us in our decisions on how we live our lives and treat others. That we allow Him to guide our ways on what we watch, hear, say and do in our lives. He is always faithful.

May we all enjoy a great New Year and enjoy living a life that is pleasing to the wonderful God that we serve.

Dale Heminger

Pastoral Shepherding Assistant Member visitation & hospital visits