The Old Year had passed away, and the New Year is here. So what can we learn from it all? I think at this time it is appropriate to pause and reflect on the last year, what went wrong, what went right, and to strategize on how we can more effectively follow Christ in the days to come. As I am doing so, I have come to a great realization about this last year: we have, or should have learned that we can't trust in worldly institutions, we can't trust the media, we can't trust the government, we can't trust popular Christian leaders (who seem to be turning away from sound doctrine on a daily basis), we can't trust even ourselves (how deceived have we been when blindly following the ever changing tide of opinion?) or trust any other thing to save us except for Christ Jesus Himself. The Death of the Old Year has shown me that in all of life, I have only One source that sustains me, nothing short of the Power of God itself through Christ Jesus. We have been divided in this nation, and even within the church. We have an enemy who seeks to kill, steal and destroy, and the time to prove what we believe is here. It is time for us to stand upon the Word of God, because the Enemy will tell us it's old, outdated and irrelevant (spoiler alert, he did that at the Garden, too). He will get us to question the nature of our beliefs if we're not grounded firm in them, and try and convince us that the way he has society moving is the way we should go. Are you awake yet? Stand fast! Cling to the word of God, and trust the Holy Spirit to interpret for you! Human institutions and teachers will fall and fail, many get caught up in the whimsy of popularity and social pressure, but Jesus Christ's words never fail, nor does Scripture return to the Father void. Stand fast, Stay Awake! Do not waiver from the Word of God, neither to the left or right, don't get distracted and fall asleep! Focus on Jesus, Fix your eyes, and remain firm on His truth. Ephesians 5:1-21-
Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints. Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving. For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not become partners with them; for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret. But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible, for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says,
“Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”
Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.