On December 31 the sun will set on 2019 for the last time. Its allotment of 365 days will be fully spent. What might have been but was not will not be, at least not in 2019. What’s done is done; the past is past; what is undone is yet to be done.
On January 1 the sun will rise for the first time on a new year. It is an opportunity to start fresh, do better and recapture the dreams we once had.
In reality when the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Eve, the old year will be buried and the new year will be birthed. Now, lest we fritter away the privileges 2020 will afford, I want to offer some thoughts for your consideration.
1. The challenges of yesteryear won’t go away!
Whatever you envision doing, it will require time, work and money to accomplish. The Lord left us in charge (Gen. 1:28) and the tasks He gave us are neither simple nor easy. If you do what you are supposed to do, you will find it challenging.
2. The conflicts won’t go away! (Matt. 24:4–14).
“Wars and rumours of wars” (vs. 6); “hated of all nations for my name’s sake” (vs. 9); “many…of fended…betray one another…hate one an other” (vs. 10); “the love of many shall wax cold” (vs. 12).
Jesus told us plainly what to expect. The details of cultures gone sour are ugly, but He has told us the truth.
3. The compromisers will dig the hole even deeper (II Tim. 3:5–13).
“A form of godliness, but denying the power thereof” (vs. 5); “divers lusts” (vs. 6); “ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” (vs. 7); “reprobate concerning the faith” (vs. 8); “folly” (vs. 9); “persecutions” (vs. 11); “deceiving, and being deceived” (vs. 13).
That’s the religious crowd turning their backs on God and their face toward their sin-crazed culture. Once compromise is begun, its purveyors will dig deeper and deeper as time goes on (vs. 13).
4. The contrast between good and evil will divide us! (John 7:43).
The closer you get to Jesus, the more you will push back against the schemes of the Devil, the stresses of the world and the stirrings of the flesh.
The constant clamor for unity is a pipe dream devoid of reality. Read the New Testament. This world is not winding upward; it is trending downward. “Worse and worse” (II Tim. 3:13) is the prophetic announcement of what’s coming.
5. The churches have a mandated mission!
“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: “Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”—Matt. 28:19,20.
The culture is in a state of flux. It serves the wrong master. You can’t depend on the culture to be a stable influence in your life.
Our churches have a mission that is mandated by the Master, the Almighty. Our job requires us to “let your light…shine” (Matt. 5:16).
Whatever comes or goes, what ever succeeds or fails, whoever loves us or loathes us, we are under orders from our Heavenly Father.
So let’s win souls, baptize converts and teach them all the Lord taught us. That’s what our 2020 vision should be. Amen!
6. The Christian’s place in this world is significant.
We are supposed to be salt and light (Matt. 5:13,14). If we are, our neighborhoods will be helped, our towns will start to clean up and our country will survive. If we yawn our way through the struggle, the forces of Hell will run rough shod over our loved ones and our beloved land.
Don’t be intimidated! Let’s rise up with the rising sun every day and give ourselves to the Lord’s work.
7. The commitment we make will determine whether or not we have influence.
If we expect to make a difference, we must make holy vows to be different. Half-hearted Christians producing half-baked cakes will not get it done. Monday, Wednesday and Friday leave more than half the week awasting.
Decide now, forget your failures, faith up, get on your running shoes and let’s take on 2020 first thing with a full measure of love for the Savior and loyalty to His cause. Amen!
Happy New Year, dear friends.