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The God of New Beginnings

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THE GOD OF NEW BEGINNINGS

There are three types of people when it comes to entering a new year. First we have the cynic who has been around the block before and does not get much excitement from a new say on the calendar. Second we have the fool who is so naive that he thinks he can achieve the impossible as long as he calls is a new year's resolution. And finally we have the superhero who never met a goal she cannot achieve. 

 

In our movies and novels we are familiar with the superhero. Self-reliant and alone they often take on the world with incredible odds armed only with a knife (Rambo) a BB-gun (Home Alone) or a smart phone.

The God of the Bible though offers us a different path to engaging with the new year.

Instead of allowing us to become cynics, fools, or self-reliant go-getters, God fills us with his Spirit and sends us into the broken world with hope, and wisdom.

As the Apostle Paul wrote,

 

"if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.  All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.  Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us" 2 Corinthians 5

 

Jesus came to bring new beginnings and he is the source of our optimism for 2020.

We are sobered by the brokenness we encountered in 2019 but not sidelined. "We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair;  persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed;" (2 Corinthians 4). 

Believers in Jesus have already received :

  • a New Covenant in his blood (Luke 22:20)
  • a New Heart (Ezekiel 36:25-28)
  • a New Self (Ephesians 4:24 & Colossians 3:10)

And now Believers in Jesus get to :

  • practice the New Commandment (John 13:34)
  • look forward to the New Heavens and Earth (Revelation 21:1-5)

"Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed." (1 Corinthians 15)

As we move into 2020 let us draw near to the God of new beginnings and allow him to change us into his people, a people characterized by love and hospitality for the unbelievers around us. And may 2020 be a year of experiencing the New Covenant like never before.

 

Posted by Rich McCaskill with
in Hope

HOPE IS FOR REAL

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No matter what you are facing, Christmas gives you a reason to Hope!

One of the best expressions we have found of the Christian understanding of hope comes from Jackie Jarawan in her blog titled "Hope" -

"Honestly though, hope has been far away at times ... I have struggled with depression. Disappointment. Discouragement. Fatigue. Weariness in the battle. Even frustration …

Hope does not lie in circumstances and emotions. It cannot…. like a river with all its twists and turns and rapids and calm, circumstances and emotions are always changing…. nothing is permanent. I must find the permanent, the forever, the eternal...... and rest there….

Hope is not an emotion. It is not a circumstance that works out….

Hope is a Person who comes to me. Hope walks across the water, climbs in my boat, fastens my life vest and says "Hold on. Keep looking at me, no matter how fast this boat spins or how high the waves rise. I am here. I will not leave. You can trust me. You are safe with me."

Hope reaches through the storm, and takes my face in His hands. He nods knowingly at my humanity. He aches with my ache, but prompts my heart to remember that it is finished because He finished it. He reigns over my circumstances, inviting me to look for his hand in the mystery and the change. He reigns over my emotions.


He is my real, unshakeable Hope."

To hear more about hope, listen to Sunday's Sermon "Unexpected Hope" http://www.somaeastside.org/equip/sermons/unexpected-hope/

Posted by Jackie Jarawan with

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