May You Be Blessed
By Bruce Cannon
As you read this article the New Year may have already come. If so, 2022 is in the history books. All of its successes, hardships, blessings, and failures are in the past. But are they really in the past? Have we properly and biblically dealt with our failings and allowed ourselves to have God’s blessings on this New Year?
The Apostle Paul knew all about past failings. As an older man, he still remembered how he failed the Lord in his younger days. He writes in 1 Timothy 1:13, that before his conversion he was “a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.” He was brutal. We can read in Acts how he was an accomplice to the stoning of Stephen, how he beat and put into prison anyone who was a follower of Christ, and how he blasphemed the Lord Jesus.
While he never forgot his past, he properly dealt with it so that, in the eyes of God, it could indeed be in the past…so that it would not hinder him from having the current blessings of the Lord upon his life and ministry. 1 Timothy is written much later in his ministry. He had already, by that time, ran a brilliant race for the Lord, but he still remembered his past and allowed his past to motivate him to do more for the Lord than any other disciple. He knew of what he had been forgiven and showed that knowledge in the race he ran for the Lord. He considered himself a huge debtor to the Lord.
What about you and me? Have we properly dealt with our past? Are we in a current position to have everything the Lord wants to pour out upon us? I do not speak of material possessions or financial blessings; though we are very thankful for these blessings also! NO! I speak of the most important blessings…peace, grace, mercy, wisdom, guidance, and answered prayer ….what we desperately need to get through life successfully.
Are there past failings in your life that you have attempted to ignore or cover-up? Are there things that you need to make right before the Lord? Remember, He knows everything. He knows every sin you and I are guilty of AND stands ready to forgive when we humbly ask Him to do so! (Thank You, Lord!) But we must ask!
We do not know what this New Year is going to bring. I believe strongly in Bible prophecy and know that you and I are living in what could very well be the year of Christ’s return for the Church. Since we are so close to the return of the Lord, all of the end-time prophecies concerning what we will be experiencing, trying to live through, and trying to raise our family are ringing true right before our eyes. I do not see a return to Christ by our nation! Rather, I see a continual turning away from Him by our political leadership and a falling away from what is considered to be the spiritual leadership in America. I see our nation constantly being taken further away from God. Look at some of the decisions we are making regarding gender, abortion, marriage, and the like.
What is the point of this article? We desperately need to be in a position individually for the Lord to be able to bless us. We need Him! And, we need to lead our families and circle of friends to draw closer to Him as well. We need to get ourselves and everyone around us just as spiritually right before God as possible!
2023 is going to be a very challenging year! Trials and disturbing news will come regularly. But Psalm 91:1 teaches us “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the highest shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.” If we are walking so close to the Lord that we are abiding under His shadow, we are always going to be in a position for His protection and provision! That, my friends, is how we can have a Blessed and Happy New Year! Amen!
From my family to yours “Happy New Year!”
Reverend Bruce Cannon recently retired as the Senior Pastor of Bear Creek Baptist Church in Bakersville. Formerly he served as Director of Missions for the Bladen Baptist Association and he has served on the General Board of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina.
You can read more Good Christian News from Pastor Cannon HERE.