Sunday, December 20, 2009

OUT WITH THE OLD, IN WITH THE NEW

BY CHARLES WOODRUFF

As a follow-up to my recent article, Redeeming the Time, once again we are very time conscious as 2009 rolls out and 2010 rolls in. It is that way every year at this season. People are seemingly anxious for a new start, wiping the old slate clean in their minds, and making resolutions they don’t usually keep. One of the most memorable in recent years was the changeover from 1999 to 2000, when everyone around the world was viewing a highly televised celebration in major cities. I know it was highly televised, because my dear wife and I had the flu, and couldn’t sleep, so we saw most all the fireworks in cities like London, Sydney, Jerusalem, New York, Moscow, etc... But, we were not celebrating, we were miserable, yet we have to say it was memorable!


A new start is usually a good thing, yet the average person will get about 70 of these “new starts” in a lifetime. As we all should know, some will get more, and some a lot less. Yet nothing really changes with most just because there is a new year. Real change must come from elsewhere. To be changed from sinner to saint must occur within. The heart of a man or woman must be changed by the all-powerful Creator, the triune God that inhabits eternity. He is the only Being that is not affected by time. He has always been, and always will be. He is eternal. He is the Christ "the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending”. Jesus is He That was, and is, and is to come” (see Revelation 1:8 for the full context). He is the One that will instruct the angel one day in the future to declare “There should be time no longer”(see Revelation 10:6). Are you ready for that day, dear friend?


“Sin may open bright as the morning, but it will end dark as the night.” T.DeWitt Talmadge as quoted by R.G. Lee in “Bread from Bellevue Oven.”

“A man by his sin may waste himself, which is to waste that which on earth is most like God.” A.W. Tozer in “Gems From Tozer.”

“Prayer and sinning will never live together in the same heart. Prayer will consume sin, or sin will choke prayer. I cannot forget this. I look at men’s lives. I believe that few pray.” J.C. Ryle in “A Call to Prayer.”

“When a man is savingly changed, he is deeply convinced not only of the danger, but of the defilement of sin; and O, how earnest is he with God to be purified. He loathes himself for his sins. He runs to Christ, and casts himself into the fountain set open for him and for uncleanness. If he fall, what a stir is there to get all clean again! He has no rest until he flees to the Word, and washes, and rubs and rinses in the infinite fountain, labouring to cleanse himself from all filthiness both of flesh and spirit.” Joseph Alleine in “Alarm to the Unconverted.”

NOT BY CHANCE

"All things work together for good to them that love God..." (Romans 8:28)

When a shepherd leads his flock over a narrow ledge, with a cliff on one side and a chasm on the other, the sheep have no choice but to follow him along the only path. In the same way, the Lord sometimes surrounds us with so many obstacles that we can't turn to the right, to the left, or even around. The Israelites, after leaving Egypt, would not have ventured to cross the Red Sea if the Egyptians had not been pursuing them. The Apostle Paul and his co-workers would never have gone to Europe to preach the Gospel if the Holy Spirit had not restricted their entrance to other areas. We would not have all the valuable letters Paul wrote if he had not been imprisoned. In our personal life it is easy to recall many incidents when circumstances forced us to do something that did not appear to be the best. We must not forget, however, that these circumstances don't happen by chance, but according to the will of the all-powerful and very loving God

Copied from Herald of Truth, 1978 ( underground magazine of the ECB of the USSR, before communism was brought down in Russia)


2 comments:

mlordi said...

There are a lot of good thoughts here, Charles. Things don't happen by chance but by God's own design. How quick we forget that expecially in times of trial - but God knows how to rescue us. It defies even our finite reasoning to believe that Christ paid the perfect price for our salvation only to leave us fend for ourselves with the rest of our lives. That is absurd but it is the lie that the enemy wants people to believe.

charles said...

Good comment. We are going through a trial right now, but Christ is our sustainer; praise His name!