We are just a week or so into a new year and typically, this is typically a time for looking back, and looking ahead. My thoughts for this month are divided into three parts.
As we look back over 2020 there were lots of things that came our way that we didn’t expect. Looking even farther back there are several things that God wants us to see. First, God wants us to learn from our past experiences, both our successes and failures. He wants to use them to help us as believers to grow. In addition, Philippians 3:13-14 gives us another clue about the past that God wants us to see. The verse says, “Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” (NKJV) While God wants us to learn from the past, He does not want us to dwell in the past. We can’t rest on past success or dwell on past failures. God wants us to learn and then move on. There are many more lessons we can learn from “yesterday” but let me close with one more thing from yesterday that it vitally important, especially for those who are not yet saved. Romans 5:8 shows us this truth from yesterday, “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (NKJV) Dear unbelieving friend, Christ, in time past, shed His precious blood for you and wants you to believe that He died for YOU!
One of the things that God wants us to see for today is perhaps put best in the chorus of a song by William Gaither, “Because He lives, I can face tomorrow, because He lives all fear is gone; because I know He holds the future and life is worth the living – just because He lives.” This is a reality for every believer and is one of the things God wants to give unbelievers too once they trust Christ for salvation. We can live today with confidence because Christ lives! He has given believers victory over death – it cannot separate us from God, but He has also given us victory over the power of sin, if we’ll just use it! One last challenge for believers for today comes from 1 Corinthians 6:20 which says, “For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s” (NKJV) It is God alone who gives us the ability to glorify Him in our bodies and in our spirit and His desire is that we do this today, and every day of our lives.
No one is promised tomorrow, but there are some things for us to see about tomorrow. Since God is not limited by time, He is already in tomorrow. This should bring comfort to believers. Since we cannot see what lies ahead, we must trust the one who can, God. If you have not trusted in the finished work of Christ on Calvary, you may not have that assurance, but God wants to give it to you. We can trust God for our tomorrows too, and for the believer, the future is very bright indeed. We are promised, by God, that we will spend eternity with Him, and anyone saved during this age of grace also has the assurance of being caught away before the Tribulation begins.
One final thought as we consider yesterday, today and tomorrow. If you are in Christ you can trace God’s faithfulness to you. Looking back on the past, God never left your side once you were in Christ. The simple truth for today and tomorrow too is that through them God will still be faithful. I will close by reminding believers of the promise God made to us recorded in the Book of Romans. In chapter 8:38-39 the Apostle Paul tells us, “For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus.” (NKJV) [Italics added for emphasis]
If you would like more information on any of these thought, why not visit us on a Sunday morning. Our schedule of services is listed on this web site. Please join us!
In His Grace,
Pastor Wes Barteck