Sabbath Thought - New Year
Here we are at the beginning of another calendar year. This past year was certainly a year that no one could have predicted. It was a year filled with uncertainty, shattered plans, restrictions, and as a result, it was a year of finding a new normal. It is safe to say that 2020 is a year no one will miss. While many years have some very bright spots that help to offset the bad events, 2020 seemed to be one big, black cloud. Everyone is looking for 2021 to bring back the "old normal" of relatively care-free life. Will that be the case?
As the world around us becomes increasingly fractured, it is natural that those who God has called look around at the stage being set for the end-time events recorded in Matthew and Revelation and wonder, how long until it is all done? While we can watch and see the general fulfillments (Luke 21:34-36) there is no way for us to know the exact time - that is reserved for the Father only to know (Matthew 24:36). In the meantime, as we wait, Satan is still very active - not only in the world around us, but even in the lives of God's saints. I am convinced that much of our frantic pace of life is promoted by Satan simply to wear people down. This is especially true of God's saints - in fact it is recorded in Daniel 7:25 that the ruler of the end-time Beast power will seek to "... wear out the saints of the most High...." Satan wants to break people, and especially God's people.
Are we without hope? Not at all. In Matthew 24:13 we are told that those who endure until the end will be saved. While we patiently wait for all of the end-time events to play out (Micah 7:7) there is much for us to do. The endurance Jesus Christ was talking about is not passively waiting out things beyond our control. We are called to be doing and growing! We are told to work out our own salvation (Philippians 2:12), to hold on to our crown (Revelation 3:11) and to be about our Father's business (Matthew 24:16). There are many more scriptures that we could turn to along this line. While it may be easy for us to look at those faithful servants in scripture and dwell on their struggles in this life, we would be better served to look at their lives and ponder what God was pleased with in their lives. In Hebrews 11:38 it is recorded "... of whom the world was not worthy."
Those faithful recorded in scripture practiced and lived a way of life that showed how empty the best promises of this world are. They lived their lives in accordance with their anticipation of God's restored Kingdom on earth. As we stand at the beginning of 2021, we should remember that we have a great cloud of witnesses (Hebrews 12:1) that have shown us how to live God's way of life. Let's make sure we are doing our best to make the most of the time that is left before Christ's return to set up God's government and usher in that Millennial rule.
I wish you a profitable and value filled Sabbath,
1 January, 2021