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Hope for a New Year

The book of Revelation has always confused Christians.  It’s full of cryptic messages, confusing numbers, and difficult to understand metaphors.  There are a lot of theories about why it was written and the way to read the letter.  Persecution had always been a reality for Christians, but it wasn’t until the late first century that imperial persecution by the Roman Empire became an issue.  John writes to a group of weary Christians in Asia Minor, encouraging them to persevere through this difficult period of persecution.

As John nears the end of the book, he begins to describe his vision of a new heaven and new earth.  It’s so wonderful that it’s difficult to describe—John struggles to put it into words.  What he does clearly know, however, is the loud voice echoing out of heaven: “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man.  He will dwell with them, and they will be his people…the former things have passed away.”  (21:3-4)  Then, the one who is seated on the throne (God) calls out: “Behold, I am making all things new.” (21:5)

God has always been about new beginnings and second chances.  As far back as the garden, God already had a plan in mind for redeeming the world—even right after man had sinned.  He hints at it in the midst of giving Adam and Even their punishments for disobeying in Genesis 3.  These modern times are no different.  2021 is coming, and it’s a new year.  What will you of make it?  What will you allow God to do in it?  I know many of us are excited to have 2020 behind us.  After all, hindsight is 2020.  (Ok, bad joke…)  But seriously, the fact is that without changes in our lives, 2021 may not look all that different than 2020.  What will you choose to allow God to do this coming year?  What could God do in 2021 that He couldn’t in 2020 because you weren’t willing?  The choice is ours.  Make 2021 better than the year before by allowing God to redeem what has been held onto and make whole what is broken.  “Behold, I make all things new…”

                                -Scott McFarland

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