Monday, January 5, 2015

New Year, Same Hope

Of all the things in the world that can set the heart burning, there is nothing like the presence of Jesus! A glimpse of Him is so overwhelming that we are ready to say, “Turn away Your eyes from me, for they have overcome me.” – Charles Spurgeon

Such a simple statement that is profoundly true: of everything that stirs our affections, there is nothing that compares to what the believer has in Christ! A single glance of God’s goodness revealed through the Son and one’s heart is filled with gratitude. To experience the hope of Immanuel through the comfort of His Spirit truly changes a man. And that is what we must remember and cling to in 2015.

Though it’s a new year, our hope remains the same. The gospel that saved us continues to save; yes, the life, death, and resurrection of Christ continues to compel; and the Spirit that draws men to God, faithfully sanctifies the saints through and through. We rejoice, for we focus not on the frailty of our finite lives but the finished work of our Savior’s cross. If given the opportunity to ring in another new year or another century's worth, our song shall stay the same – oh the glory of His empty grave!

As we think of that which is of first importance (1 Corinthians 15:3-4), may we remember that it is not only good news for us, but the Gospel is the only healing ointment for this bruised and broken world. Consider Owen’s optimism for the one lost in darkness, “If ever God shine into their hearts to give them the knowledge of his glory in the face of his Son Jesus Christ, they will see the folly of their present way.” When God reveals Himself, people are changed; lives are transformed! A glimpse of all that Christ is clearly communicates all that we are not. Such grace and mercy satisfies the soul’s deepest longing and produces the genuine response of worship – first by repentance and later through lives that herald this hope!

Let us not forget the importance and power of the Gospel, nor neglect the sweet promises found therein. May we approach 2015 in full confidence that this Jesus changes lives! Just a peek, just a glimmer, a simple survey of the Savior, sets hearts afire and settles eternity forever. With this hope in mind, may we not only savor such grace, but might we passionately point and plead for others to look upon this Christ as well.

Lord, shine into souls, unveil Your incomparable worth. Be big in our hearts, our homes, and our efforts to make You known. Do that work which only You can. For our joy and Your glory, help us make much of You. Amen

Matt Fowler - NBC Family Pastor of HS

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