“A New Perspective for a New Year”
by Don Denney
May you prosper and be in good health in 2004. Only God knows for sure what this new year will hold. However, we can be sure God is in sovereign control and that His promises and prophecies are sure.
In Isaiah 46:10 God is described as, “Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things that are not yet done, Saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, And I will do all My pleasure.'”
We’re sure glad that whatever happens we are safe and sure in our relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ! Praise the Lord!
God’s Spirit assures us, “He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? … Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. 8:32-36,38,39).
The virtues and morals of this world are deteriorating at a rapid pace. However, as “Children of God” we need not fall into this ungodly trap. We have Christ in us the hope of glory (Col. 1:27) and we so walk in Him (Col.2:6), for the new man–which is after God–is created in righteousness and true holiness (Eph. 4:24).
Christ is expressed though us as we take up the Cross and reckon on our identification with Him (Luke 9:23; Rom 6:6,11). So we are to be ” … blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life …” (Phil. 2:15,16).
Our Lord never “patches up” our natural virtues, that is, our natural traits, qualities, or characteristics. He completely remakes a person on the inside (a new creation – 2 Cor. 5:17). In other words, the life God puts in us develops its own new virtues, not virtues of the seed of Adam, but of Jesus Christ. As we bring every part of our natural life into harmony with the new life God has placed within us, He will exhibit in us the virtues that are characteristic of the Lord Jesus. “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord” (2 Cor. 3:18).
Thank God that even though we are in this world we are not of this world. Thank God that our citizenship is in heaven: “For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ” (Phil. 3:20).
Salvation in Christ is God’s gift of real life for this world right now, not just for heaven in the future. Christ taught and demonstrated how His salvation, which brings abundant life, can enable those who believe in Him to rise above this world.
That victorious life for a believer involves cooperating with the ministry of the Holy Spirit, maintaining a vital relationship with Christ, practicing great respect for all human life, and developing a prayer life devoted to the glory and purposes of God (John 15:5,7).
May God receive all the honor and glory due Him in this new year!
Don is a local friend of ours. We thank him for allowing us to edit and send his new year’s letter for Grace Notes subscribers.