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Entering 2009
December 31, 2008, 1:34 pm
Filed under: Believe, Mind Cloud, Shout

(email from my sister)

How will you spend the last few days of 2008?
Shopping? Sleeping?  Surfing (the web)?
Want to do something different? Something that may actually bring God pleasure?
Here’s my suggestion – why not use the last few days of 2008 to say ‘Sorry’ to someone.
Or else, why not give someone the opportunity to say ‘Sorry’ to you?

In the bible it is very clear that Jesus was sent into the world not only to make peace between humanity and God but also to restore peace between those who are hostile towards each other.   Again and again those who are called God’s people, those who have been shown mercy and forgiveness are encouraged AND often warned (see especially Matthew 18:21-35) to likewise show mercy and forgiveness to others.

As Jesus himself says in Matthew 5:
21 “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’  22 But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire.  23 So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.

And as Paul also writes:

“Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil.” {Ephesians 4:26-27}

Brothers and sisters, with only a few days left in 2008 – the sun is well and truly about go down!  Who are the people that you need to forgive or to ask forgiveness from?  Your mother? Your father? Your brothers or sisters? Your grandparents? Your flatmate? Your classmate? Your neighbor? Your husband? Your wife? Your children? Your Christian brother or sister?

Or maybe you need to say ‘sorry’ to God?

As we approach the last few days of 2008 (ready to begin 2009), it is good for each of us to reflect again on God’s great offer of forgiveness that comes at the cost of his Son Jesus. Because no matter how often (or how terribly) we have failed God at various times this year, God makes the incredible promise that because of what his Son did by becoming man and dying  on the cross for us, his righteousness is now ours!

‘By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.’ {Romans 8:3b-4}

Forgiving someone is never easy – it costs.  And asking someone for forgiveness is also never easy – but brothers and sister, this delights God.
So why not make time in these next few days, before the sun goes down, to make sure 2009 begins as a wonderfully fresh new day!

22 The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end;
23 they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
{Lamentations 3:22-23}

God bless.


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