‘Rejoice in the Lord always’
Jan 07, 2014 | 2110 views | 0 0 comments | 170 170 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Happy New Year, neighbors! Ready or not, another a new year has arrived. What will 2014 hold? There will be new experiences; some wonderful, others painful and some life changing. We will make new friends and lose some to the sleep of death. Are you ready for all of this and more?

It is vital that we each do our best to prepare for what lies ahead. Many just take life as it comes. That is less than a good plan. While we cannot be prepared for everything, there are things we can do to be proactive for challenges. For instance, what kinds of images are you feeding your mind and soul?

The Christian Bible has some very good advice in Philippians 4:8.

There is a list of eight positive areas in which we are to focus our thoughts. I truly try to do this, including the kind of music that I play, the movies and TV shows that I watch and the material that I read. Just before this thought, the apostle Paul gives us these words in Philippians 4:4 that changed my life as a teenager.

Paul wrote, “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!” It is not enough to go around happy all the time, for that is not even possible. But, it is very possible, with the help of Jesus, to rejoice no matter what life throws at you. Ken Hasekamp is completely convinced that true joy can only be found in Jesus.

You might disagree with that statement. Well, what does this world offer? At best, it has temporary “happy generators” that most seek. They usually involve spending money. To find happiness, the world says you need a new car, a bigger house, a fancier and larger TV, more electronic doodads and the latest this or that. In the end, when the newness wears off, you are left with a bill for whatever you sought happiness through that, too many times, is now a long-term debt. That just adds pressure to you!

How does any of the stuff of this world help you when the word “cancer” comes into your family or close friendship circles? How much comfort does one gain from a luxury car when you have lost a loved one?

Let me encourage you to find true peace from the One who conquered death, Jesus the Christ of God. In Jesus, there is hope beyond this life and for this life right now. The last words in the Gospel of Matthew (28:20b) are a promise by Jesus: “And surely, I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Please, seek Jesus in a new way this year. Need some help with that neighbor? Then look me up so we can talk. In the meantime, enjoy the day!

The Rev. Ken Hasekamp is pastor of Adventure Christian Fellowship. Sermon notes is a column by local religious leaders.

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