Journal – December 26, 2021
18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, 19 To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.
THE NEW YEAR
The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me. . . to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.
The Lord Jesus Christ quoted the Prophet Isaiah on a visit to Nazareth, where He had been brought up, and they tried to murder Him, because He had offended them with the truth. Using the truth, He set forth let us proclaim, God willing, 2022 IS the acceptable year of the Lord. I believe we could find delight in 2022 being an acceptable year of the Lord. First, how do we approach the Lord?
HUMBLY APPROACH THE LORD IN PRAYER
PSALM 10:17 LORD, You have heard the desire of the humble: You will prepare their heart; You will cause Your ear to hear. In looking for an acceptable year, this verse tells us plainly, He will hear the desire of the humble. Brethren don’t forget Dominion Baptist Church, has a need for God’s blessings to rest upon us in this New Year. We need to have a humble posture in prayer before our Lord this year because God promise to hear the desire of the humble. What is a humble desire? A humble desire leaves everything in God’s hand. But the deeper reality of the humble experience, whom the Lord hears is that the Lord prepares the heart of the humble to receive Christ, and to receive more of Christ. God will prepare our hearts for Christian Service in the New Year. In the New Year we will learn how to be humble in prayer.
FIND SECURITY IN GOD HIMSELF.
In 2 Chronicles 16:9 For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him. God is not merely aware of them; it is deeper still; He knows and cares for His people in all things. For many of us, 2020 and 2021 were very gloomy years, but God has not forgotten us. Now looking at 2022 we do not know what the year will bring with it, but the eyes of the LORD are upon His people, not merely to see them but to view them with complacency and delight; not to barely observe them, but to observe them with affectionate care and Interest. Deeper still in Christ there is a blessed meeting of eyes, in which the Lord declares, I love thee, and we answer we love thee, O our God. Even after these bad years Christian in 2022 find your security in God.
WAIT EXPECTANTLY FOR GOD’S MERCY.
For the last year and a half, I have spent several hours and in some cases days with doctors, even underwent outpatient surgery, but I have been blessed in reading God’s word and preparing these journals. Over the years, since my retirement, I have spent several weeks in physical therapy facilities and hospitals, but God was doing great things for me, I know that I am now more patient and gentler, and weaned from the world, and I pray more welded to Christ. I can recommend that we all while looking forward to 2022 realize we don’t know what the future holds, but we do know the LORD who holds the future. I recommend that each one of us look to the future to observe the mercy of God demonstrated to us in all circumstances that you and I may live from that mercy in the New Year.
WORSHIP THE LIVING GOD.
When we gather together as an assembly our purpose is to worship the living God, but when providence keeps us away from the meeting, we are still to worship the living God. Now, this to me is a discovery of whom is our brethren, if someone is casual in the meeting and during the pastor’s prayer or while one of the members is praying, they stand and look and observe those around them, often just looking at the children’s movements. If we are truly entering into the prayer service our hearts will be bowed and the only comments you will hear after the service is over will be something to the effect of the Holy Spirit was here today and led brother so-in-so to exalt the Lord. If there is a comment about those noisy children that talk while their parents are standing praying, were they watching? With an attitude like this how, do they pray at home, with there hearts bowed before the Lord, or some prayer learned as a child, and they just quote it again. These are usually the worldly-wise that think it best to keep a show of religion, enough to pacify their conscience. There is nothing that blinds one more effectually to the power of eternal things, than worldly wisdom added to divine truth. When a man deceives himself, when he is persuaded in his judgment of the doctrines of grace, and yet lacks that spiritual teaching that brings these doctrines home with divine unction and savor to his soul. He tells others I understand what I hear from the pulpit, I believe and consequently God’s arrows of conviction fall harmlessly. When we come to hear God’s truth, the speaker or pastor has labored long and hard to study out and present a word that honors God. Be careful what you hear. Many times, something will be said that answers the question you have wondered about from private study.
In talking to some men that invited me to a Bible Study at Samford University before the actual school day started, I received the surprise of my life. In one of the services a discussion was started about God’s love and how He was not willing that any should perish. When I asked about Esau being hated by God in Romans 9, I was told they did not read Romans 9 and would be best for me to leave it alone. It was my last visit with them, but God had a purpose in it for me. It is absolutely necessary to study all of God’s word, and those portions that are not easily understood need to be prayed over and your study continued, God will open up the matter for you as you continue.
Let us hear the Psalmist praise the Lord in Psalm 115:
Not unto us, O LORD, not unto us, But to Your name give glory, Because of Your mercy, Because of Your truth.
Why should the Gentiles say, so where is their God?
But our God is in heaven, He does whatever He pleases.
Their idols are silver and gold, the work of men’s hands.
They have mouths, but they do not speak; Eyes they have, but they do not see.
They have ears, but they do not hear; noses they have but they do not smell.
They have hands, but they do not handle; feet they have but they do not walk.
Nor do they mutter through their throat.
Those who make them are like them, so is everyone who trusts in them,
O Israel, trust in the LORD. He is their help and shield.
O house of Aaron trust in the LORD, HE is their help and shield.
You who fear the LORD, trust in the LORD; He is their help and shield.
The LORD has been mindful of us; He will bless us; He will bless the house of Israel; He will bless the house of Aaron.
He will bless those who fear the LORD, both small and great.
May the LORD give you increase more and more, you and your children.
May you be blessed by the LORD, who made heaven and earth.
The heaven, even the heavens are the LORD’S; but the earth He has given to the children of men.
The dead do not praise the LORD, nor any who go down into silence.
But we will bless the LORD From this time forth and forevermore.
PRAISE THE LORD!
PROCLAIM THE GOSPEL TO YOURSELF AND OTHERS.
In Revelations 21:5 We read that the Lord Jesus Christ was sitting on the throne and said, “Behold I make all things new” Now our Lord is the same, yesterday, today, and forever, but here He is making all things new after the former things have passed away. Well on 1 January 2022 we have the commencement of another year of grace, and as Christians we ought to be thinking about the great and needful change of conversions and press on that we might experience the full power of His grace. The newness Christians experience daily through the gospel must be proclaimed to those lost in their old dead selves for the Lord can convert those dear friends about whose souls you have been so anxious. Let the New Year prompt you to declare the once-for-all daily newness of life in Christ for those who believe.
Psalm 115:18 is a fitting declaration to enter this New Year on: But we will bless the Lord from this time forth and forevermore. Praise the Lord!
Dear reader, may you be encouraged and edified by this New Year’s greeting that you humbly pursue the Lord in prayer, find true security in God, preach the gospel of Jesus Christ to yourself and others, and praising God for all His goodness and grace.