Saturday, January 1, 2011

January 2, 2011

"But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people." Luke 2:10

You have had it happen and so have I. It always happens at the most inconvenient time. You hurry to your car, slip the key into the ignition and turn the key but - nothing happens. Maybe you get a click or maybe not, but your battery is dead and your car is not going to start. What a horrible feeling! Your car needs a source of power to get started and your battery has no power. You are stranded! What will you do?
Obviously, you need to find a source of power to help start your car. You need a jump start. You need to get next to someone who has a poweful battery that your battery can draw power from. And since you are unable to move from where you are, someone needs to come and bring the power to you. When that helpful person arrives, either they or you should have some jumper cables to connect the powerless to the powerful. That transfer of power will get you started and on your way again! What a relief!
God sent His powerful Son, Jesus, to a powerless world to help jump start your joy. That is what Christmas was all about! God doesn't want you to be spiritually stranded. He is not pleased when your spiritual battery runs down. And since you were powerless to move, God sent Jesus to you! Jesus came with the power to jump start your joy!
"You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly." Romans 5:6
"He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— " John 1:11-12
That is the "good news of great joy" that the angel was sharing with the shepherds! That is the good news I share with you! You don't have to start a new year powerless! You don't have to be stranded in some lifeless useless unfulfilling spiritual place. God wants to connect with you to jump start your spirit and restore your joy! Jesus is the key! Not only is He the power source - He is the jumper cable. Not only does He recharge your spiritual battery, he replaces it!
On this second day of 2011, do you need a jump start? Are you tired of being spiritually powerless?
Connect - or reconnect with Jesus!

January 1, 2011

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!" II Corinthians 5:17
Happy 2011! May God bless you with a healthy and joy-filled year!
Time marches ahead relentlessly and a new year is upon us! Will you make the New Year new or will you drag the same old pain and problems across the threshhold of time?
Speaking of time, the Apostle Paul reaches across the centuries with this solid reminder that only in Christ can all things be made new! So, the New Year cannot be truly new unless you are "in Christ".
What needs to be gone in your life? What did you carry in 2010 that you don't need to drag into 2011? Is there a sinful habit? Is there shame over your past? Is there an unhealthy relationship? Is there a spiritual stronghold? Is there a lack of discipline? Is there discouragement or depression? Is there spiritual apathy? Is there outright rebellion against spiritual truth?
The promise is that if you are "in Christ" you can be made new and the old, painful, unproductive, and harmful things can be gone!
So, what does it mean to be "in Christ"?
It means to live in trust. When you trust "in Christ" for your salvation and stop trusting in your own goodness or righteousness, then you can enter into a spiritual relationship with Him.
It means to live in truth. When you are "in Christ" you surrender to His truth and "lean not unto your own understanding". His truth is expressed through His Word, the Bible. Living in truth means that you commit to defining what is real in your life based on what the Bible says is real. You live by its principles. You order your life by its priorities. You shed your past and plan your life according to its promises and you prevail in life according to its power.
The New Year can only be new if you are made new! It can only be happy if you are made whole - and holy!
As you turn the page on the calendar will you turn a page in your spiritual experience? Will you be "in Christ"? Will you trust His truth to transform you into a "new creation"? Will you allow Him to make "all things new" in you?
You can be "in Christ" or in crisis. It's up to you.