Monday, January 24, 2011

Assurance For The New Year

“You laid earth’s foundations a long time ago, and handcrafted the very heavens; You’ll still be around when they’re gone, threadbare and discarded like an old suit of clothes. You’ll throw them away like a worn-out coat, but YEAR AFTER YEAR YOU’RE AS GOOD AS NEW.” (The Message – Psalms 102:26-27)

I saw one of those magnetic notes stuck to the side of a refrigerator in a kitchen that sticks out at me like a sore thumb. It reads like this. “I will not make the same of mistakes this coming year. I will make some new ones.”

New year. New mistakes. That’s life in the fast lane. The person who launches into the new year assuming that they will not make any mistakes during the next 365 days has already made one. They will. That’s about as positive as I know how to be.

No one is going to bat 1000. In baseball, not failing 3 out of 10 times in going to bat is a good average. GMP Institute of Cincinnati suggests this philosophy for helping companies deal with employee or employer mistakes, and it can be good advice for all of us as we enter a new year.

  • All people make mistakes. Expect mistakes.
  • People don’t intend to make mistakes.
  • People don’t like to make mistakes.
  • People want to “make up” for mistakes made.
  • People want to learn from their mistakes.
  • People are hurt more by self-regarding feelings than criticism from other when they make mistakes.
  • People improve performance after working out corrections of mistakes.

Get over it! Making ordinary mistakes is not committing hara-kiri. The writer of the Book of Hebrews records it like this in Hebrews 6:1. “Let us go on unto perfection…” If we must “go on”, that means we are not there yet, but we are on the way. Again Paul speaks of perfection like this in Philippians 3:12.”Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect…”

This may shock a lot of people, but let me remind you---you are not perfect yet. You don’t see angel wings bulging to break out underneath my shirt or a halo wobbling around just above my head. I am human enough to make mistakes and spiritual enough to run to the Father for forgiveness when I make them.

This is the assurance I have for the New Year: GOD IS AS GOOD AS NEW! I have not worn Him out with all my faults and failures nor is He repulsed by my humanity. The words of the Psalmist are so encouraging to those of us who mess up even when we don’t really mean to. He said, “SURELY goodness and mercy shall FOLLOW ME ALL THE DAYS OF MY LIFE.” (Psalms 23:6) That’s the good news for the coming year. He will be there to clean up my messes, resolve my confusion, restore my confidence and reassure me of His endless love.

I urge you to press forward into the New Year remembering that your God is as good as new and that it is His desire to do new things in your life.

  • God’s patience is not exhausted.
  • I Peter 3:20 – the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah…
  • II Peter 3:9 – The Lord is not slack concerning his promise….but is longsuffering…

  • God’s pardon is not short in supply.
  • Nehemiah 9:17 – God is ready to pardon…
  • Isaiah 55:7 – He will abundantly pardon…
  • God’s provisions have not been canceled.
  • Philippians 4:19 – But my God shall supply all of your needs…
  • Matthew 6:32 – But seek you first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
  • God’s potential has not been reached.
  • Ephesians 3:20 – (He) is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think…
  • Job 42:2 – I know that you can do everything…
  • God’s preeminence has not been equaled or surpassed.
  • John 3:31 – He that cometh from above is above all…
  • Romans 14:9 – For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that He might be Lord both of the dead and living.
  • Ephesians 1:22 And has put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be the head over all things to the church.
  • God’s promises are still in place.
  • Matthew 5:18 – For verily I say unto you, till heaven and earth pass one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass away from the law till it be fulfilled.
  • I Kings 8:56 – There hath not failed one word of all his good promises…

The year before us is filled with uncertainties, but our God is just as good as new. He is the ever present I AM, present tense God. He has been impervious to the passing of days, years and millenniums. He is the same. Wars can not cause Him to waste away to nothing. Economic busts can not erode the abundance of His supply.

Empires rise and fall. Seasons come and go, but He is the same. As we enter this new year, enter it with full assurance that God is as good as new.

Growing Together,

Pastor Jimmy & Bob

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