Pastor’s Ponderings

“For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth, and the former things shall not be remembered or come into mind.” – Isaiah 65:17

Happy New Year 2021!  For this column in the January issue of the Trinity Times, I promise I won’t write anything about the viral pandemic (except for that statement). 

The Bible has much to say about “new” things.  The Bible has references to “new” creations, which speak of those people who have received new lives from God.  These new lives are necessary for us to enter heaven since our old lives (those with which we were conceived and born) are not fit for heaven.  Rather, in their fallen state, they are fit for hell. 

Lives are not the only ‘new’ things mentioned in the Bible.  The Scriptures teach there are two primary covenants between God and His people.  One was the covenant of life God made with Adam (also known as the ‘covenant of works’).  In the covenant of life, Adam was required to obey God perfectly in order to have eternal life.  If Adam sinned against God, he would be punished with death.  And, Genesis Chapter 3 teaches us that’s precisely what happened.

So, God established a “new” covenant with Jesus known as the covenant of grace.  Through that covenant, Jesus represented His elect people.  Jesus fulfilled the covenant of grace by obeying the whole law for His people, and then He suffered the punishment due for our sins.

It intrigues me how some people place their hope in the calendar passing from December 31st one year to January 1st in the New Year.  We know that the change of the calendar isn’t magical where we can snap our fingers and life is all of a sudden better than before.  But many people believe that by beginning a New Year, things will be better than in the previous one.  Having said that, I get it.  I want things to be different this year; but I wonder, do we really deserve things to be different, if not better?  My hope is in the Lord, and not in January’s arrival.

I resolve, with the help of Almighty God, to be a better shepherd of the people remaining with Trinity Church as we continue together through the New Year.  I will endeavor to pray more for you and to encourage you more and to continue to teach you faithfully sharing with you my labors in God’s Word. 

I resolve, with the help of Almighty God, to be a better husband and father.  For most of 2020, Jan bore the brunt of my frustrations and discouragements even more so than in other years.  She didn’t sign up for that; and I didn’t do much to make it better.  In fact, it may seem to her that I did some things intentionally to frustrate her.  It’s been hard on her.  She deserves better.

I resolve with the help of Almighty God, to be a better father.  God has blessed Jan and me with godly children who strive to please Him in their lives.  I hope to spend more time with them this year, to call them more often, and to encourage them more often.   

On November 1st, we will observe our 20th anniversary of ministry with Trinity Church and Aledo.  None of us could have predicted where we are today.  As a congregation, we are doing some things differently, but there are some things that don’t change for God’s Church.  No matter what the world says, the Church is essential; ministry is essential; pastors are essential; preaching is essential; worship is essential; and fellowship is essential.  There’s no “new” normal for the God’s Church!  

Blessed New Year to you! 
Pastor Daren

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