December 31. 2020

But someone will ask, “How are the dead raised? With what kind of body do they come?” You foolish person! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. And what you sow is not the body that is to be, but a bare kernel, perhaps of wheat or of some other grain. But God gives it a body as he has chosen, and to each kind of seed its own body. For not all flesh is the same, but there is one kind for humans, another for animals, another for birds, and another for fish. There are heavenly bodies and earthly bodies, but the glory of the heavenly is of one kind, and the glory of the earthly is of another. There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for star differs from star in glory. So is it with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable; what is raised is imperishable. It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power. It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. Thus it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit. But it is not the spiritual that is first but the natural, and then the spiritual. The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven. As was the man of dust, so also are those who are of the dust, and as is the man of heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven. – 1 Corinthians 15:35-49 ESV

As we bring to close another year on this THIRD ROCK FROM THE SUN, we must ask ourselves are we CLOSER TO THE SON, due to the tragedy and the trauma of 2020? If the answer is yes, then PRAISE THE LORD, if the answer is NO- my heart goes out to you for you have wasted your DESERT EXPERIENCE, your VALLEY has been for NOT! You foolish person! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. And what you sow is not the body that is to be, but a bare kernel, perhaps of wheat or of some other grain. (ibid v36-37) From Wikipedia: Ibid. is an abbreviation for the Latin word ‘ibīdem’, meaning “in the same place”, commonly used in an endnote, footnote, bibliography citation, or scholarly reference to refer to the source cited in the preceding note or list item. This is similar to ‘Idem’, literally meaning “the same”, abbreviated id., which is commonly used in legal citations. God is in control, whether we know WHAT He is doing, WHY He is doing it, or HOW LONG it will last! The good news is, THIS TOO SHALL PASS! God is not done with us yet, and He is constantly wanting to keep us focused ON HIM and NOT IT. By IT, I mean whatever we are going through, because… THIS TOO SHALL PASS! All things PASS AWAY…except…Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away. (Matthew 24:35)

Leader, just like the year 2020, the BIBLE is filled with many stories about suffering and hard times. As I read the Bible 2 truths become clear to me: 1- Life is Hard. 2- Life ain’t NO FAIR- again, does this sound like 2020? The Bible promises us we will suffer, and that suffering can be used to make us a VICTIM of the world, or it can make us a VICTOR IN CHRIST! What we can find in all our searching through the Word are the many things God does tell us about our suffering and hard times. We all face them at one point or another in life, and many of us may even find ourselves there right now. The GOOD NEWS is this: God never leaves us to fend for ourselves in difficult times, and many times in these HARD TIMES, we are forced to TURN TO GOD, because we can’t do it on our own. He promises to be with us in all that we face, and His whole heart encompasses our pain, surrounds us in peace, and gives us incredible hope and grace to keep pressing through. The Bible tells us, “The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever,” (1 John 2:17) We must remember that God is in the RENEWAL business. RENEWAL is all about making things NEW! For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland. (Isaiah 43:19)

Conduit, as we put 2020 to rest- we let it die, let us be mindful that GOD IS STILL ON THE THRONE, HE HAS THIS! He is NOT surprised, HE IS NOT shocked, nor is he unsure of anything. Remember the great chaos of the universe is built into the structure. The 2nd Law of Thermodynamics describes basic principles familiar in everyday life. It is partially a universal law of decay; the ultimate cause of why everything ultimately falls apart and disintegrates over time. Material things are not eternal. Everything appears to change eventually, and chaos increases. God tells us this in a NON-SCIENTIFIC way in scripture. “Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, for what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:16-18) As we start a new year, let us let the old one DIE and RENEW our focus on our CALLING and OUR LEADER, on our WAY, our TRUTH, our LIFE- JESUS! “Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope” (Romans 5:3-4, Romans 12:12, Romans 15:13). As we let 2020 DIE, and we look forward to a NEW YEAR, LET US TRUST that God has the best plan for your life. Do not look at your circumstances, rather look to the God of hope. Vaccine, or COVID, BIDEN or TRUMP…THIS TOO SHALL PASS, but GOD IS ETERNAL. Remember what God told Jeremiah and bring these words INTO THE NEW YEAR, “I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you. Again I will build you, and you shall be built…!” (Jeremiah 31:3-4a)


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