MAKING A DIFFERENCE IN 2019: I AM MORE THAN ONE–WITH THE LORD

                This is the day the Lord has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it. (Psalm 118:24)

 An optimist stays up until midnight to see the new year in.

A pessimist stays up to make sure the old year leaves.1

 The Pessimist:

Let’s leave 2018 behind as quickly as possible and watch the ball drop at Times Square to make sure this year departs. It’s been a year of turmoil, strife, violence, loss, an increase in acceptance and tolerance of immoral behavior, and a challenge to our Christian faith. Why would we want to hold onto it? Just “drop the ball” and start off anew on January 1st, 2019.

The Optimist:

Let’s reflect on 2018: A year of turmoil, strife, violence, loss, an increase in acceptance and tolerance of immoral behavior, and a challenge to our Christian faith—during which times many demonstrated courage, empathy, charity, forgiveness, compassion, sacrifice, and great faith. It has been a year where we were called to stand for what we believe in, both publicly and privately. The ball may “drop” to end 2018, but what we learned this year should be carried into 2019. We cannot start anew; we must start where we left off and make use of the lessons of 2018 to build up our faith, our courage, our empathy, our charity, our forgiveness, our compassion, and our willingness to make sacrifices for the Lord.

The Pessimist: I am only one. What can I do to make a difference?

The Optimist:  I am the one. “{I} must be the change {I} wish to see in the world” 2  and in myself.

**“Do I dare Disturb the universe?” ― T.S. Eliot 3

**“In a gentle way, [I] can shake the world.” ― Mahatma Gandhi 4

** “I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something.  And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do.” ― Edward Everett Hale 5

**“I have one life and one chance to make it count for something… My faith demands that I do whatever I can, wherever I am, whenever I can, for as long as I can with whatever I have to try to make a difference.” ― Jimmy Carter 6

    “The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” (James 5:16)

A new year awaits us. Let us go to our “war rooms” and pray with due diligence to be stronger in our trust in God, wiser in our actions by His guidance, and bolder in our decisions to make a difference for the Lord.

I AM MORE THAN ONE—WITH THE LORD.

(Sharon G. Tate blog 12/30/18) teacherforjesus.com Meditations on God’s Word

 

1 Bill Vaughan. brainyquote.com

2 Mahatma Gandhi. brainyquote.com  “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”

3 T. S. Eliot. http://www.goodreads.com

4 Mahatma Gandhi.brainyquote.com  “In a gentle way, you can shake the world.”

5 Edward Everett Hale. brainyquote.com

6 Jimmy Carter. goodreads.com

Advertisements

With Christ: A New Hope in a New Year

 

Beginnings with God

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:

The old has gone, the new is here! (2 Corinthians 5:17)

The clock hand slowly moves,

Minute-minute—second-second,

Midnight strikes, the ball drops,

Crowds cheer a New Year-

Singing “Auld Lang Syne.”

The old with the new. Nostalgia for the past. “Should old acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind? Should old acquaintance be forgot, and auld lang syne?”

We celebrate the New Year with friends and family who are part of our past. With      reminiscence of those shared memories, we look ahead to creating new ones in a new year. Moving into the new year, we bring the past with us–“for auld lang syne” (for “old times’ sake” 2 ) and much more, to the extent that the past can become more influential than the present. Although the past is always part of us, it should never be the greater part of us.

In God’s Holy Word, the Old Testament is a place to return to—and not to be forgotten for much more than “auld lang syne” —for it gives us background, history, lessons, and   applications important to understanding the New Testament:

18 “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. 19 See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. (Isaiah 43:18-19)

Although this passage references happenings and events during the time of the Israelites, there are applications for us in the present. We, too, must not dwell in the past. We must do “a new thing” and become a new creation in Christ. God shows us the way in the Word of the New Testament:

**If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. (I John 1:9)

**Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of    refreshing may come from the Lord, 20 and that He may send the Messiah, who has been appointed for you—even Jesus. (Acts 3:19-20)

** “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” (Revelations 21:4)

**Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In His great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. (I Peter 1:3)

 The Apostle Paul gives us the resolution we need for this New Year: 

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. (Philippians 3:13-14)

This resolution will be carried out and fulfilled if we remember this promise of help: 

I can do all this through Him who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:13)

The clock hand slowly moves,

Minute-minute—second-second,

Midnight strikes, the ball drops,

Old year passing, I watch the fall,

 Then look up to Him– hope anew.

1 www.independent.co.up/arts-entertainment “Lyrics to Auld Lang Syne”

2 www.scotland.org  “The History and Words of Auld Lang Syne”

(Sharon  G. Tate blog 12/31/17) teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word