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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

A Word for 2013

As I write this, it is still mid-December. But with great anticipation I am looking forward to this New Year that quickly is approaching. I am expectant of great things for 2013.

I have looked at what the number thirteen (13) ‘seems to signify’ in the Bible.  Whether you buy into biblical numerology or not, it is quite obvious that there are Biblical patterns in the Word of God, as related to numbers. For example, the number seven (7) is often associated with God or spiritual perfection, the number forty (40) is used repeatedly in relation to trials or tests (Israel’s 40 years in the dessert, Christ’s 40 days in the wilderness, etc.)   So, just out of curiosity, I have looked at the number thirteen and found that it often seems to point to ‘rebellion’.  Will the year 2013 have any of the characteristics of the patterns found in the Bible for the number thirteen?  I honestly don’t know.

What I do know is that this generation is a very rebellious generation.  I do know that even in 2012 it seemed that the spirit of rebellion became much more prevalent in our nation. Now before I have you scared or depressed let me shift gears.  The numbers 10 and 3 are both known as signifying Divine perfection, fullness.  Perhaps the connecting of the two would reflect that? Who knows!

I'll stop short of making predictions for the coming year, and I'll simply tell you what is more important than figuring out the future.  Here it is: This is no time to let down on your faith!  This is the time to go after God with your whole heart!

The Word tells us that “perilous times will come”.  I believe we all know that they are here.  The Word tells us that there will be “a great falling away”.  I think we are witnessing it. The Word tells us that “evil men and seducers will wax worse and worse”. So true!

Yet while the world seemingly deteriorates all around us, while chaos becomes the norm, while rebellion is the expected lifestyle of our day, there is still going forth HIS message of HOPE.  We carry the Good News that a desperate word is so needing to hear! And for us, He is with us and has promised not to forsake us!

There is truth in the saying, “The light shines brightest, when things are the darkest.” So if things do continue to grow darker in our day, it only makes our living for Christ all the more precious in the world.

Don’t fear the coming days, the Lord has gone into them before us. Let us go into the days ahead with great expectations, knowing that great opportunities are being presented to us to reflect the brilliancy of Christ! And let us go into them in full pursuit of God and His righteousness. His promise is that He will supply all we need, if we will do this: seek Him first.

What does 2013 hold? Only God really knows, but whether it is darker yet than what we have experienced or whether we get a short reprieve, the end of days is upon us.  NOW is the time to give ALL to God, and today is the day of SALVATION!

2013 doesn't scare me.  The numerical pattern of 13 can’t make me fear. Here's a word for 2013, "My God is still in perfect control, He is still lighting the way with His Word, and He will empower us who are in Christ to light the way for the world in the days ahead!"

Friday, December 14, 2012

How Do You Ever Smile Again?

I saw a news story just days ago about a woman who lost her two kids and her parents in a fire a year ago at Christmas. I wondered, if you are that poor woman, how do you ever smile again?

I watched in horror today as the unthinkable news reached us that a gunman had killed 20 young children and 6 adults at an elementary school in Connecticut. Again I thought, if your child was taken so needlessly today, how do you ever smile again?

Each time, my heart broke in compassion for those that were in those situations. And each time as that question crossed my mind, "How do you smile again?" I heard the answer whispered in my ear. Jesus.

Only Jesus could ever bring a smile back to those broken, mourning faces. I see no other way to ever smile again. But Jesus can bring back the smile, because in Him those grief stricken, hurting parents can have the promise of seeing those babies again.

My prayers tonight are for the survivors. May Jesus somehow bring a real smile back to each face. This dark world has stolen it, and it may seem impossible to ever smile again... But in Christ there is hope beyond this dark world.

How do you ever smile again? Only by the grace of God, through Jesus Christ.