Faith Blog

2018: BEST YEAR EVER

My wife bought me a Christmas ornament that says "2018: Best Year Ever!"  We both got a good, long belly laugh out of that.  Without going into too much detail, we both agree that 2018 has been the hardest year we've ever had.  But Psalm 146 describes what we've tried to keep as our perspective throughout the hardships of the last 12 months.  

 

First, "Praise the Lord!"  No condition is given for praising the Lord only when things are good.  We're simply told the psalmist will "praise the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praises to my God while I have my being."  Even when sickness comes.  Even when jobs are lost.  Even when families are shattered.  "Praise the Lord, O my soul!"

 

Second, our main focus through our struggles is that God is to be trusted.  When we feel like we've been hanging on by a thread, God tells us that he "lifts up those who are bowed down; the Lord loves the righteous."  In this rough year, it's been a great encouragement that our hope is in the Lord because we'd be completely lost without Him.  Even when I don't feel it, especially when I don't feel it, the prayer that has continually been on my lips of late is "Father, help us to trust you!"  I pray that 2019 will be better, but I know 2018 has taught me some hard lessons that I'm thankful for.

 

Posted by J.T. Nanney with

DOWN FROM HEAVEN

It’s hard to read the book of Revelation without seeing the theme of judgment. Judgment, coming down from heaven, on the earth. (Some have compared it to the plagues that God brought on the Egyptians before Moses was able to lead his people out of this slavery.) Today’s OYB reading from Revelation 15 speaks about “seven angels who had seven plagues, which are the last, because in them the wrath of God is finished,” (15:1). And the apostle John saw that those in heaven “sang the song of Moses, the bond-servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying:

‘Great and marvelous are Your works, O Lord God, the Almighty; Righteous and true are Your ways, King of the nations!

‘Who will not fear, O Lord, and glorify Your name? For You alone are holy; For all the nations will come and worship before You, For Your righteous acts have been revealed.’" (15:3-4)

At this time of the year we often think about Jesus coming down from heaven to be born as a baby in Bethlehem. God gave us His Son because He loved us, (John 3:16). However, the book of Revelation gives a sobering conclusion to those who reject that love of God.

Another song that we hear at Christmas reminds us that we must recognize that Jesus was and is more than a “babe in a manger.”

Do you worship the Babe in the manger

But reject the Christ of the cross?

Your redemption comes not by the manger

But the death of Christ on the cross.

The Babe in the manger was God's only Son

Who came to the world to die

The Babe in the manger could never have done

The work of His God on High.

The Babe left the manger and went to the cross

To pay the wages of sin

Your way of forgiveness is not by the Babe,

But the Christ Who died for your sin.

Have a good Christmas! But more importantly, be sure to have a Good Forever After.

 

Posted by Bob Busenitz with

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