December 30, 2018 ()

Bible Text: Philippians 3:20-21... |

Looking Back and Looking Forward                 December 30, 2018


At the end of a year we tend to look back over the previous year’s successes, failures, and victories we’ve taken. We rejoice in how the Lord’s enabled and how we’ve grown in the grace and the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. We think of the things that occurred naturally, like illness or affliction, healings, births, graduations, weddings, and home goings. Some look back over the year and think of the events that transpired in the world. We see the signs of His coming but we don’t want to get entangled with world affairs because we are not from here. We are citizens of heaven, we’re just passing through.

Philippians 3:20-21  For our conversation (citizenship) is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:  21  Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body…

This past year may have brought a burden upon your life, whether its for you personally or a loved one.

2 Corinthians 5:4  For we that are in thistabernacle do groan, being burdened:

Put Him first and He will take care of it. Like having too many things to do – He will enable you to get them done. But the groanings can weigh you down, and you may get to the point where you don’t even know what to pray for.

Romans 8:26  but the Spirit himself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.

So thankful we can pray in the Spirit! Paul said we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life: (2Cor. 1:8). Elijah felt that way, and he requested for himself that he might die; and said, It is enough; now, O LORD, take away my life; (1Kings 19:4). The Lord has something better. Aren’t you glad He doesn’t answer those prayers. Instead God’s answer to him was, “Arise and eat; because the journey is too great for thee”.  (1Kings 19:7). The journey is too great for us. Our strength is weakness, our wisdom is foolishness, our goodness is filthy rags. We are completely insufficient in ourselves, but is anything hard for the Lord? He made us and He knows that we can’t do it, we just need to realize that. Even Jesus as a man said:

John 5:30  I can of mine own self do nothing:

He was totally dependent on His Father and the power of the Holy Spirit. He also told us:

John 15:5  . . . without me ye can do nothing.

Getting back to Elijah, the cake he ate and the water he drank represent the word of God.

Jeremiah 15:16  Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart:

You can be in a turmoil but the Word brings rejoicing and guidance. He is the potter, we are the clay. We are His workmanship. The good work He has begun, He will complete. He is faithful. He is able. He will never leave us nor forsake us.  Knowing and believing this brings joy and rejoicing. Jesus said to His disciples:

John 15:11  These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.

So now we can look forward with confident expectation knowing that He made us, He knows us, He loves us and He will do it. There are many examples where God came in for ones, just by believing Him.

Hebrews 12:1-2  Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, … and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,  2  Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of ourfaith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross…

Jesus endured the cross for the joy set before Him, His wife. We too have a cross.

Luke 9:23  And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.

We take up our cross and ride our camel. Denying self, putting no confidence in the flesh. We have a joy before us  - we can endure. We joy in knowing that He is doing the work in our lives and we are learning more about how much He loves us and desires us. We are running the race to win the prize. Christ our Bridegroom! There is also a joy set before us, seeing Jesus face to face in our glorified bodies. There are different glories. We want sun glory, a body fashioned like unto His glorious body. Joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together (Romans 8:17).  We have so much to look forward to this year. Continue to trust Him and not your abilities. We want to be ready and by His grace we will!

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