Thursday, December 29, 2016

New Year


“And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light.” Romans 13: 11-12

Dear Congregation,
        It has become an ageless tradition to mock New Year resolutions. The classics being diet and exercise that possibly last half of January. Others, taking on all forms of good intentions and hopeful changes. However, where are those resolutions when August rolls around? We all know our own weaknesses even when it comes to our own ideals and desires. These weaknesses can have the same discouraging effect on our Christian life if we are pursuing it on our own steam. How many people walk away from the Lord because they did not receive the gratification they idealized? How many people loose patience with their Lord?
            The Scripture reminds us that sanctification is not of our own doing but of God’s and that we are indeed doomed to failure if we pursue it without faith, dependence, and the Gospel. The above passage reminds us of one motivation to keep our meaning of life central. Our end is always nearer than it was a moment ago. We do not know what lies ahead or when our path is done but we do know that there is no time like the present to act in faith and do what is right. With the New Year coming, I think this passage speaks very keenly to all of us. Awake out of your sleep, the day is at hand. The day to repent and pursue righteousness and holiness. Whatever works of darkness choked us in 2016 must by grace and faith be thrown off. Far too much distracts and holds us back from our potential as ambassadors and servants.
            After casting off, we put on. Put on the armor of light. Live in that straight and narrow path out of love and thanksgiving for your Lord. Let His armor protect you from all attacks and all temptations to despair. Cast your cares upon Him for He cares for you! As 2017 dawns, we know the time. It is high time to always be awake, to cast off darkness and put on the light of Christ. My prayer is that God’s power will enable all of us to do this this year in such a way that we and the church universal have never seen before. Happy New Year!!!
In Christ,

Pastor Basile