Saturday, January 9, 2016

HILLTOP CHAPEL NEWSLETTER JANUARY 2016

HILLTOP   CHAPEL  NEWSLETTER

JANUARY  2016

“A NEVER ENDING TOMORROW”

            I find baseball, basketball and football players to be disingenuous (translation: fibbers) from time to time.  Upon reaching the pinnacle of their playing careers, e.g.—the World Series, NBA Finals or Super Bowl—some players will wax philosophical with deeply thoughtful phrases like, “It’s just another ballgame.”  Some even try to downplay any emotional attachment to the event by stating, in no uncertain terms, a boldfaced lie: “I’ll have dinner tonight, be in bed by 10 and sleep like a log.” Right!!!  He’ll be unable to eat much at all and be lucky to get 2 hours of sleep.  That 1st game of a world championship will be the most important and exciting day of any player’s career, with memories that last a lifetime.
            There are certain days and moments in each one of our lives that define us, in good and not so good ways.  We definitely picture vivid scenes from our past lives that are remembered for their glorious or not so glorious aspects.  I personally have a much better memory of my fleeting moments
of glory than the numerous “agonies of defeat”.  As Scarlett O’Hara famously stated, in “Gone With The Wind”, “I’ll think about that tomorrow.” So, we are now beset by the ominous prospect of another New Year.  What will this year bring? Will it be a good year or one of besetting problems and challenges?  If only one had a crystal ball worth it’s salt or knew someone who could accurately read “tea leaves”, then we’d be on to something!  Alas, it is a hopeless proposition to pursue an absolutely trustworthy prediction of future events.  People spend literally millions of dollars each year in their efforts to peer into the unknown, yet fall miserably short.  However, all is not lost.  If you are looking for a pleasant solution to the dilemma, you’ve come to the right place.  Now, get out your Ouija board and…—just kidding!
            Obviously, the only reasonable remedy for FOTF (fear of the future) is knowledge.  Where can one find this wellspring of knowledge?  The Bible or, more accurately, God’s word is the correct answer.  God doesn’t pull any punches; He wants you to know what’s going on.  Is that so hard to believe?  Jesus said, in John 8:32, “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.”
            Let’s, for the sake of argument, start from the premise that God did create the universe and everything in it.  Furthermore, let’s assume that He is able to see future events and control what happens.  Would that help to keep your “absolute panic” meter from spiking every 30 seconds?  The Bible also tells us things like: “And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19).  We’re in His hands and there is no better place to be.
            Rather than contemplating all the devastating “what ifs” on the horizon for 2016, what if we take a look at the absolutely certain plans God has for all of those who love Jesus Christ?  I’m going to pass along what I pray will be very encouraging words as the New Year unfolds: “Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away.  Also there was no more sea.  Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride for her husband.  And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people.  God Himself will be with them and be their God.  And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying.  There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”  Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.”  And He said to me, Write, for these words are true and faithful.”  And He said to me, “it is done!”  I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End.  I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts.  “He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be my son.”  (Revelation 21:1-7)  Then comes the clincher:  “Behold, I am coming quickly!  Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophesy of this book.”  (Revelation 22:7).  If that weren’t enough, Jesus says, in Revelation 22:12, “And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work.”  Finally, just to make sure we understand, He says, in Revelation 22:20, “…Surely, I am coming quickly.”
            I know it’s hard to imagine that we are on the very threshold of Christ’s return, and that there are absolutely no prophesies yet to be fulfilled before His return, but that is the wonderful truth!  The question then becomes, are you prepared for His Second Coming?  Are you prepared to see Jesus Christ face to face?  Are you among the millions who will receive the fully functioning, unbreakable, indefatigable, sinless and God praising, glorified body?  Is every fiber of your being absolutely bursting with excitement over the prospect that His return could happen before you finish this article?  I hope so. 
            There are many things yet to do to get ready for the Rapture of the church, and the only way
to prepare is to put Jesus Christ at the top of your priority list.  In His word, He says, “….I will never leave you nor forsake you.”  So we may boldly say: “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear.  What can man do to me?”  (Hebrews 13:5-6).  
                                                                                                May God richly bless you, in 2016!


                                                                                                PASTOR  ROD

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