My neighbor tells me there is no God,
That the idea of God is a fantasy, birthed of human weakness, ignorance, and fear.
My neighbor says only fools believe in God.
And to tell you the truth,
If I narrowly look at the world today -- at my country (sadly)
It is hard to find evidence of God.
Man’s inhumanity to man -- terror, murder, ruthlessness --
Reeks of a godless world.
Individual human selfishness -- prejudice, greed, pride --
Shout out of a godless world.
Entertainment -- violent, profane, erotic,
Blasts godlessness into our homes, our bedrooms, our minds, our hearts.
Immorality defiles the land.
I see a gray world spiraling downward into darkness.
Take a look -- where can you find evidence of God?
Is there any in me?
Dear neighbor, please look beyond your “self”,
Beyond your opinions and your pleasures, your bigotry, and your bias,
Beyond your clubs and cliques and closed circles,
Beyond the headlines, the bylines, and the “news,”
Beyond the blood soaked sod, the blades that slice off heads,
Beyond empty voices shouting their digital narcissism.
Please look beyond the media promoted filth and degradation that fill our airwaves --
And if you see no God in me, please look beyond me too.
Dear neighbor, look up!
Follow the scent of the honeysuckle and see the butterflies,
The flowering foliage, towering redwoods, gentle rolling hills, snow-capped mountain peaks,
The sun, the sky, the gentle rains, the dust of His feet (Nahum 1:3).
You must look up from this sin-weary earth
And see the beauty of the cross --
To see the glory of the One who woos you, warns you,
Calls you, draws you --
Out of desolate doom and judgment
And into the light of His truth and deliverance.
Look up with me, lift up your head, because redemption draws near. (From Luke 21:28)
Hello, and welcome to 2015 -- a new beginning -- a brand new year with a clean slate that is yours to fill in any way you choose. Or is it? Many of us begin the New Year with resolutions, good intentions, and “from-now- ons.” But how long do those last? Without a life centered on God, resolutions and good intentions soon become burdensome and usually slip to the wayside. That is because new beginnings do not actually come from turning your calendar to a new year -- new beginnings come from God alone. So, are you beginning 2015 with God at the center of your life, as the focal point of your life? If you go forward living by your own devices, you will remain in your old ways and repeat the past. Aren’t you weary of living by your own plans and schemes? Aren’t you tired of the burden of living for your “self?”
Jesus says, Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light (Matthew11:28-30). Do you understand what those words mean? According to Jesus, the Christian life is not just believing in Him. Jesus says, “come to Me,….Take My yoke.” This means that to live the Christian life you must go to Jesus and follow in His steps and by His example. When you are tired of living for yourself, this is what you will want to do. And when you do, you will find rest. That is His promise.
There is a whole year full of days ahead and every day will be an opportunity for a new beginning, an opportunity to “Come….take….and rest.” My prayer for you this year is that you will embrace a new beginning with God and that you will find rest for your soul.
I have been involved in Disciplers since 1987, as a discussion leader, teacher, writer, and now as director. I am profoundly committed to the stewardship of this ministry which God has entrusted to me for a time. God’s word is the chief joy of my life. I cherish my personal time in the word, and I am filled with gratitude to be able to share His word with you, my fellow disciples in Christ.