NEW YEAR'S HOPE HAS A NAME
13 Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming.14 As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. 15 But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; 1 Peter 1:13-15
So here we are... the end of the year that we all felt as though it would never end. You know I always keep in the back of my mind what it had to be like during the great wars and famines how the people looked at the dawn of a new year. Did they look at the coming of a new year with hope and prosperity or were they just resolved to carry the baggage of the old year into the new year. I cannot fathom what they were going through or how they could even sit and imagine the hope that would bring in a new year. This year's celebrations will look a lot different. I don't imagine that there will be a large crowd in Times Square that will be watching the crystal ball drop or thousands of people in different venues watching concerts as we prepare to bid farewell to 2020. But inside each of us I still believe that there is a HOPE that this really will be a marker to the beginning of the end of all of the stress and frustration. Just as we were able to find a little bit of hope celebrating the birth of Christ a few days ago, we also step out in faith with hope in our hearts that 2021 will truly be a year that is one of new steps and overcoming the darkness that has surrounded the world for most of the year.
But once again I have to remind all of us that the only way to truly step out of the frustrations and the baggage that we are carrying is to really lay it down at the feet of Jesus. If you really want to step into the new year with a hope and joy, then we have to be willing to finally resolve the things that have stunted our spiritual growth and look into the new year with a new desire for change. I still believe that there is an amazing opportunity for this world to step into a time of revival but it must first come with everyone laying their lives down before the ONE that is in control of it all. Don't just speak what you want to do for a change in character or lifestyle. Step into it with a hope and faith and give it to God and claim victory
over the stumbling blocks that have held us back from fulfilling God's will for our lives. As the clock counts down tonight, may it be a signal that you are letting go of the things that you have been holding on to you. May it be a moment that you begin to release these burdens over to God and feel the freedom that truly comes with everything that we experience as new. The time is now and we must be willing to step into this realization that nothing is going to change unless we truly feel the power of the HOPE that entered into the world. Lives were changed then and guess what... lives are continuing to be changed today. The real question is whether or not we will finally humble ourselves and realize that we must let down our walls and let God take over. That is when it will be a Happy New Year... not when the world's clock strikes midnight but when your spiritual clock changes from separation from God to one that marks the time until eternity with God.
Peter once again brings us our lesson for today and it is one that is once again filled with power and resolution. Peter reminds us that we need to focus on the power of the HOPE found in Jesus that will release us from the things of this world that has entangled our hearts. And once we step into that new life... we are able to make a decision right then and there... we are able to resolve that we will continue to be HOLY and live a life that is HOLY. And yes this will take some time to believe that you have stepped across the threshold of old to new, but you will immediately feel a burden that has been lifted. Then the world will begin to change because HOPE has once again entered into the world. We are all a part of the story of God and how it must be passed down from generation to generation. Just like Peter and the disciples who witnessed the death of Christ and the darkness overcome the world, they still had HOPE and after they resolved in their hearts to finally believe that Jesus was who He said He was, they were able to give HOPE to the world. Peter became the mouthpiece of God and the church was born. Hope filled him to overflowing and there was nothing, but death, that would stop him from expressing this hope to every one he engaged with after his new life began. Once Peter resolved his guilt to Jesus and was challenged to be a shepherd to the flock, he immediately began preparing to carry this new message of restoration and hope to the world. And now it is our time to do the same.
Even though 2020 has been a roller coater that we are so ready to get off of, we have still been able to see God being revealed in the lives of those who have fully surrendered their lives to God. It is not something that is easy to recognize because evil is still trying to cause us to look at the numbers and focus on the negative, but I need you to know that many people came to know Christ as their Lord and Savior in 2020. Many families welcomed in new lives into the world in 2020 with hopes and dreams of watching them change the world. Others were joined together in holy matrimony with hopes of watching a new stage in their life's journey begin. Some crossed the threshold from life to eternity but leaving behind a legacy of hope that was only found in Christ. Their testimonies spoke volumes of how they never lost faith in the power of the HOPE found in CHRIST. The same is true for us as well.
We must be willing to carry the HOPE that is ever present in our lives into a new year to help those that are still struggling to get out of the darkness.. find the LIGHT that can give them ETERNAL FREEDOM. I am always the eternal optimist, and that was not always the way that I was. It was the day that I was introduced to the HOPE that I found in Christ that flipped a new switch in my life that completely changed my perspective in life. People say that it seems as though that I have the energy of the energizer bunny, but the reality is that I have the HOPE of Christ living in me and I want it to overflow to the world. I want to be an example of Christ and I had to resolve that decision of giving ALL of my life to God. I hope and pray that you will do something NEW this New Year's Eve. Instead of the regular programming I am inviting you to join me as I bring in the new year celebrating the HOPE of CHRIST at the virtual Passion 2021 Conference. The link will be below and will be filled with amazing speaker and worship. Let's give HOPE a chance again to reign in this world. See the link below.. It is completely free but you must CHOOSE to reclaim the NEW YEAR in the NAME OF HOPE NAMED JESUS!
2 Sessions: 4-6pm and 9pm-1am
3 ways to watch: