Goodbye to 2020
By Terry Cheek Th.D.
By the time you open this issue of the Blue Ridge Christian News, you will have said goodbye to 2020. Last year brought us a situation only our most dreadful nightmares would equal, COVID-19. On top of that, we lived through a hotly contested election, one that still carries question’s seeking answers. On top of these two massive events, we all have memories of the previous year, some good and some not so good. If we are teachable, we have walked away from 2020 much wiser and more mature than when the year started.
As we move into 2021 many of us will continue with a tradition of resolutions and promises with good, sincere intentions. Others may plan diligently seeking prosperity and influence, while an increasing number of people will become immersed in fear. Looking into the coming year let’s take this time to take a deep breath and lean upon God’s Word for guidance, encouragement, and inspiration.
Notice with me James 2:18 “Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.” When we make resolutions, we are in fact displaying our faith. Are our resolutions made through faith in God, that He controls the outcome in our lives? Or are our resolutions made through faith in ourselves, that we control the outcome in our lives? The answer to these questions will determine how successful 2021 is for us. Resolutions are not bad until we approach them in our own power ignoring the role of God in our lives. Many of our personal, professional, and national problems can be attributed to our pride and not seeking God in making our decisions. Start 2021 off right, seeking God in every decision you make. You will be stronger for it.
The next issue we will face can be referred to as our success. Let’s begin again with God’s Word. Luke 12:16-21 “And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: (17) And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? (18) And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. (19) And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. (20) But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? (21) So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.” Jesus’ parable will touch the heart of every American. Many of us are successful beyond our wildest imaginations. God has blessed us richly is an understatement. Yet how often do we ask ourselves; what do I do with my success? To answer this, we must look into a mirror, physical and spiritual. Are we going to open more bank accounts? Are we going to build bigger barns in 2021? I’m not questioning retirement or estate planning, but I am asking you to consider how much is enough. There comes a point in life when we ignore God’s conviction and pursue personal greed. God’s blessing in and through our life is given to pass along and bless others. Not just materially or financially but also with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Using our financial blessing to open a door to spread the good news of salvation through Jesus Christ is laying up a treasure that can never be taxed or its value diminished by the stock market.
Bear with me for one last thought. 2021 for some will be a year of fear. For example, the loss of jobs, health, and loved ones can bring about tremendous fear. Let’s again turn to God’s Word. 1 Peter 5:8-9 “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: (9) Whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.” Fear is the product of the devil! As it was in Job’s life God may permit the devil to afflict our life to our benefit in the end. God has not asked any more of us than He has our brothers and sisters in Christ before us. Will we suffer in the coming year? Yes, in ways we do not know, but yes, we will. The opportunity we have right now is to prepare for it and approach it with faith that will resist the devil and bring glory to God! Are you ready for 2021?
Until we meet again in print or person may God keep you firmly in His grip.
Terry is the Executive Director and broadcaster of The Inspiring Word media ministry. You can contact Terry by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Or by visiting www.theinspiringword.org
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