First, I offer you a word of apology for not sending out the Wednesday Word as I have done consistently for a couple of years now. I had to attend and participate in the homegoing services for a family member in Fayetteville and left yesterday morning. It is not my habit to be deficient in living up to my commitments. I made a commitment to you and I am a day late in fulfilling it. So, I apologize.
I pray that the words penned to you have not become too familiar and common that you do not still derive value from them. I want to use these midweek messages to keep you encouraged, inspired, and engaged with the word of God that is still “a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path.” (Psalm 119:105)
As I type right now, I know that we have begun a new year and that we look for earthly confirmation that the new will also bring better. I want to enlighten you to the fact that God has already given you something better even if it does not always show up in the material aspects of your life here on earth.
In Ezekiel 34:25-31, God offered the exiled Israelites words of material comfort, peace and deliverance. He spoke words of safety, blessings, and fruitfulness, all words that we would all want spoken over our lives.
Do know that these were people who did not have Jesus. They had a Promised Land and a covenant relationship with God that was to be manifested in their here and now. Their Promised Land was the land of Canaan and their convenant relationship was the Abrahamic and Davidic covenants.
We too have a Promised Land and a covenant relationship with God. Our Promised Land is the New Heaven and the New Earth. Our covenant relationship is revealed in the New Testament, the new covenant, through our Lord and Savior, Jesus the Christ.
Theirs was temporary and for this earth. Ours is eternal and for the earth to come.
It does not mean that we should not expect to get blessed on this side of glory. I surely do and pray prayers asking for such. It does mean that our greatest deliverance and victories await us.
And, through all that God has done, is doing and will do, I believe that God offered a wholistic and holy word in Ezekiel 34:30-31,
“They shall know that I, the LORD their God, am with them, and that they, the house of Israel, are my people, says the LORD God. You are my sheep, the sheep of my pasture and I am your God, says the LORD God.”
I pray that as you have begun 2018, you know that God is with you. He is not in a burning bush, a pillar of cloud during the day, and a pillar of fire by night. Through the Holy Spirit, if you have accepted God through Jesus the Christ, you have God dwelling inside of you as promised by Jesus.
And, you, the whole church, not a building but a people, are not just the people of God. No, you are the children of God, adopted into the family because of the blood of Jesus.
And, you are cared for, covered, protected, and provided for, not for just a temporal season here on this earth. No, you are being anticipated to join our Heavenly Father on the other side of glory.
This blessed assurance was there in 2017 and it is here for us in 2018.
Through the ups and downs that will surely come in this year as they have come in the years past, be encouraged in one eternal, unchangeable, and enduring truth.
The one true God is our God...and He is our Heavenly Father and He loves us dearly.
And, nothing is better than that.
Stay safe. Stay warm. Stay in God’s care and loving arms.
See you on Sunday and bring someone with you. It is time for Zion to grow some more. We are laying a solid foundation. It is kingdom building time.
Be excited. Be engaged. Be a part of what God is doing through our church.