Taking stock at the beginning of another new year
At the beginning of another New Year, it is good to take stock. The gospel is certainly good news for those outside of the Church, but how much more for those inside!
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me,” said Jesus, “…to proclaim freedom for the prisoners.” And I wonder how many of us – sincere church-going believers – fit into that category?
“But I was Brought Up In Church…”
But you say, “I was brought up in church, I’ve never been captive to anything.” Someone else said something similar once (John 8:31) and it didn’t mean much then either!
It is possible for believers to be held captive by sin but we don’t have to stay that way. Christ came to set the captives free.
And the Bible also speaks of some being held captive by human tradition and the basic principles of this world. (Col 2:8) We are not propping up a dying religion; we are ambassadors for the Son of God himself, bringing the only message that can set people free to live and die with confidence. Let’s make sure we don’t miss out on that freedom ourselves.
I pray that each one of us will start this year trusting the Lord more fully – more determined to hold on to the promises of God. More certain than ever that prayer does change things and that the gospel does work.
Let’s kick captivity into touch
The latest figures show that church attendance in the nation as a whole have continued to decline, but that just makes the gospel even more relevant – the darker the night, the brighter and more welcome even a single candle appears!
So let’s kick captivity into touch. Away with sin and life-controlling doubts and fears, Jesus died to set us free from all that. And let’s not get taken in with this world’s way of thinking – that is the very thing that led the crowd to choose Barabbas instead of Christ!
Instead let’s refresh our faith with this New Year. If God can use anyone, then he can use me. If the Holy Spirit can anoint anyone, then he can anoint me and empower me to be his witness. (Acts 1:8) And if the gospel can work anywhere then it can surely work here!
Happy New Year!
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