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January 2023

Christ in You, More Than a Matter of Perspective

“Ringing out the old and bringing in the new.” I think you will agree that 2022 has just been an extension of 2021, and extension of 2020! I am REALLY ready for 2022 to be over! We have seen unprecedented challenges and changes that have affected the very values we hold dear as God’s people. The unprecedented over reach from our government caused by the China Virus response continues. The dictates that have deprived us our rights both of speech, freedom and life itself are becoming entrenched in our institutions. More corruption is being uncovered in our state and federal governments, as the result of the 2020 election fraud takes hold. The horrors of medical induced deaths now being revealed. The moral infrastructure of our culture continues to disintegrate. And finally, our government leaders are totally disregarding the warnings from our Lord God of His impending judgement on us as a coun- try. But what of living our life in 2023? Going through each day? The question made famous by Francis Schaeffer: “How then should we live?”

The Apostle Paul states: “Of this church I was made a minister according to the stewardship from God bestowed on me for your benefit, so that I might fully carry out the preaching of the word of God, that is, the mystery which has been hidden from the past ages and generations, but has now been manifested to His saints, to whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. We proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, so that we may present every man complete in Christ. For this purpose also I labor, striving according to His power, which mightily works within me.” Colossians 1:25-29

He then directs our path by saying: “Brethren, join in following my example, and observe those who walk according to the pattern you have in us. For many walk, of whom I often told you, and now tell you even weeping, that they are enemies of the cross of Christ, whose end is destruction, whose god is their appetite, and whose glory is in their shame, who set their minds on earthly things. For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself.” (Philippians 3:17-21)

We have this new year before us. We are encouraged to always remember “This is the day that the Lord has made! Let us rejoice and be glad in it!” (Psalm 118:24) Great expectations should await us! Not knowing what the whole year will look like but looking forward to today. Not knowing exactly what will be revealed and uncovered. Some hope, wonder, intrepidation, fear and dread accompany each days reveal. However; what ever may be ahead in 2023, we know, all of our lives are built on a sound foundation of our Lord Jesus Christ. As children of God we have the firmest foundation possible, the God of the Universe. His presence within us promises a foundation that cannot be shaken. The wind and waves of 2023 must come. The enemies of God work to usher in change, to force us to follow the will of the Evil one. With all that Job endured he stated in 42:1-6: Then Job answered the LORD and said, “I know that You can do all things, And that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted.

‘Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?’ Therefore I have declared that which I did not understand, Things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.” 4 ‘Hear, now, and I will speak; I will ask You, and You instruct me.’ “I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear; But now my eye sees You; Therefore I retract, And I repent in dust and ashes.”

Outer change must come but inner change brings us ever closer to our Lord Christ Jesus every day! There is no challenge that can effect our foundation in Him. The Apostle Paul tells us above of his ministry to the church, for the church and with the church all standing on one truth: which “is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” That has never, nor will it ever change.

In 2023, I pray for you to stand ever more confidently and more aware of your foundation, “Christ in you, the hope in glory” and “our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christas.” Let us preach, teach and grow toward completion in Christ together each day in 2023. Happy New Year!

Pastor Robert

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