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MINISTER'S MESSAGE > JANUARY 2009
Divine Encouragement For the New Year
"Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said "I will never leave you or forsake you." So we may boldly say, "The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?"
Within this marvelous text are four lessons to help us as we enter the New Year.
First, there is an admonition to guard our conduct. In these uncertain economic times and as people watch their life's savings disappear, we must always be on guard against allowing the seeds of covetousness creep into our thinking. Class warfare is a common game played by politicians who actually encourage the so-called "have nots" to covet the possessions of the "haves." In Colossians 3:5, the apostle Paul equated covetousness with idolatry, and it isn't any secret what the Lord thinks of idolatry.
Second, there is the admonition to be content. Discontent leads to covetousness and many other transgressions. Discontent can lead to murmuring and disputing (Phil 2:15), evil suspicions (1 Tim 6:4 NKJV), and the perversion of truth as a means of personal gain (1 Tim 6:5). Again, the apostle Paul said godliness with contentment is great gain (1 Tim 6:6).
Third, there is the promise of Divine companionship. What a wonderful thought it is to know that God is always with us! Jesus promised the same to his disciples when giving the Great Commission in Matthew 28:18-20. The Psalmist said "the Lord is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble" (Ps 46). One of my favorite hymns conveys this lovely thought, "Anywhere with Jesus I can safely go; anywhere he leads me in this world below. Anywhere without him dearest joys would fade; anywhere with Jesus I am not afraid."
Finally, this text inspires great confidence. Note the Hebrew writer said "I may boldly say..." What a joy it is to have the boldness God would have us to exhibit! Earlier in this epistle we are reminded of how we can "come boldly before the throne of grace, that we might find mercy and grace to help in time of need" (Heb 4:16). The apostle John said that by dwelling in God "our love is made perfect that we might have boldness in the day of Judgment" (1 John 4:17).
As we enter this new year, may we do so with the admonitions and promises of God given to us in this marvelous passage! TC
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January 2009 - Divine Encouragement For the New Year
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