31st December 2022
31st December 2022
Read (Hebrews 13v8-16, 20-24)
Message (Scott Woodburn)
There is something quite wonderful and yet terrifying about a new year. Wonderful because another opportunity has come for us to implement great changes in our lives. Terrifying because we have not one clue about anything that will take place over the next 365 days.
I don't know how this devotion finds you on the last day of 2022 but I'm excited to finish the year with another look at Christ. When midnight comes may you remember that the most important things in this world have not changed one little bit. Christ is above all and Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever (v8). The fancy word for this is "immutability" which simply speaks about the unchanging nature of the Lord. He doesn't change and He cannot change for He is immutable. No matter what this new year brings we can be confident that our Saviour will be as unchangingly faithful as He has always been.
Hold fast to such truth! It is tempting to follow "diverse and strange teachings" (v9) but may your year be grounded in the central timeless truth of Scripture. A few years ago a famous preacher made quite a noise about the colour of the moon and in this letter the Hebrews kept looking back to their Jewish roots scratching their heads about certain types of food. Brothers and sisters, may you flee from irrelevant babble and instead be strengthened by grace in 2023 zealously pursuing the meat of God's Word.
The Christian has the privilege of worshipping at an altar which is heavenly not earthly (v10). We no longer visit the priests of the old covenant who would bring animal blood inside the holy place and then burn the animal carcass outside the camp (v11). The old covenant system was temporary and has passed away and so in 2023 may we remember that rather than being in the shadows we have the substance of God's promises in Christ. He was the one who was taken outside the city and crucified so that we might be sanctified (v12) and so may we go to Him, follow Him and willingly bear the reproach of being associated with Him (v13).
I suspect that the passing of time causes us concern because it reminds us of the fleetingness of life and that when all is said and done none of us are the captain of our own destiny. I don't write this as a rebuke but as a simple reminder. Life is fleeting and none of us are in control, but when all is said and done that's perfectly okay. As followers of Christ we understand that we have no lasting city upon this earth (v14) and so our focus is on the heavenly city where we will dwell forever.
2023 might be wonderful or awful. 2023 might see prayers answered or apparent silence from the heavenly realm. 2023 might be just another year or it could be our last year. No matter what comes, today we resolve to fill our new year with constant praise of our glorious God (v15) and ceaseless good works (v16). This is the fruit of lips and hands that have been transformed by Christ and this is the fruit that pleases the Lord (v16b).
Dear brothers and sisters, I hope and pray that 2023 will be incredibly fruitful for you and yours. May the days of joy outweigh the days of sorrow. May you accept the teaching from God's Word that you will receive (v22). May your love for the saints only increase (v23-24a). May grace be with all of you (v25).
"Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen." (v20-21)
Q38 What benefits do believers receive from Christ at the resurrection? At the resurrection, believers, being raised up to glory, shall be openly acknowledged and acquitted in the day of judgment, and made perfectly blessed in the full enjoying of God to all eternity.
Your comment will be posted after it is approved.
Leave a Reply.