Well, friends, we made it!
What a year! As many of you know, I like to read through the Bible each year, following the One Year Bible plan. There are many other great plans out there which accomplish the same thing.
I am not perfect. I skip a day every now and then. But this has been a wonderful way for me to stay steady and sane over the past 30 years, which is when I started.
This morning, I read the last assigned readings for the year from the Old Testament, New Testament, Psalms, and Proverbs. Here is a sample of what I read:
From the Old Testament, I read these words in Malachi 4:5-6.
5 “Look, I am sending you the prophet Elijah before the great and dreadful day of the Lord arrives. 6 His preaching will turn the hearts of fathers to their children, and the hearts of children to their fathers. Otherwise I will come and strike the land with a curse.”
This is our past hope. As we know now, the “Elijah” that he was talking about was John the Baptist, who prepared the way of the Lord. Yes, the land and all of us were cursed before Jesus came to take our curse away. For it was written in Galatians 3:3,
But Christ has rescued us from the curse pronounced by the law. When he was hung on the cross, he took upon himself the curse for our wrongdoing. For it is written in the Scriptures, “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.”
From the New Testament, I read these words in Revelation 22:3.
3 No longer will there be a curse upon anything. For the throne of God and of the Lamb will be there, and his servants will worship him.
This is our future hope. Even though 2020 has seemed a bit “cursed”, we know the end of the story. Not only did Jesus take away our personal “curse” so that we can have eternal life in heaven and abundant life on earth, He also will one day take away every curse in every situation. One day, there will no longer be a curse upon anything. What beautiful future hope! No wonder the entire Bible ends with these words:
20 He who is the faithful witness to all these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon!”
Amen! Come, Lord Jesus!
21 May the grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s holy people.
The last words in the assigned reading in Proverbs included these words from Proverbs 31:25.
She is clothed with strength and dignity,
and she laughs without fear of the future.
This is our present hope. We can laugh without fear of the future. We can have dignity and strength going forward, no matter what the past has taken from us.
So, it seems right and good that the last assigned reading of the year for Psalms is from Psalm 150:1-6.
Praise the Lord!
Praise God in his sanctuary;
praise him in his mighty heaven!
2 Praise him for his mighty works;
praise his unequaled greatness!
3 Praise him with a blast of the ram’s horn;
praise him with the lyre and harp!
4 Praise him with the tambourine and dancing;
praise him with strings and flutes!
5 Praise him with a clash of cymbals;
praise him with loud clanging cymbals.
6 Let everything that breathes sing praises to the Lord!
Praise the Lord!
So, Happy New Year, my friends! Let’s remember that our only hope for the past, future, or present is found in Christ alone. No matter what comes, let’s praise the Lord. It seems fitting to end the year with the following song: