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Happy New Year

This morning, as my wife and I were praying into 2007, a passage of scripture was inspired in my heart. And I thought I should share that with you today as we count down to the new year. It will banish fear from you, hopefully, and inspire faith in your heart as we step into 2007.

The stone the builders rejected
has become the capstone;
the LORD has done this,
and it is marvelous in our eyes.
This is the day the LORD has made;
let us rejoice and be glad in it.

That is from Psalm 118: 22- 24, NIV. This scripture is a prophetic psalm about the chief corner Stone, Jesus Christ. Although, he was rejected by the ruling powers of Israel and Rome, tortured and crucified, he is today the Prince of Peace, the Savior of the world, and King of kings.

But as we were praying this morning, it occurred to me that we are also referred to as 'living stones' in the bible. And so, what was true of Jesus would be true of us too if we believe in him. "As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him— you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ" I Peter 2: 4-5, NIV.

So, here is a word of hope for you as you enter this new year. 'The stone the builders rejected will become a capstone!' Many times, we don't have all it takes to succeed in a highly competitive world like ours. The 'builders' of society may look at us and vote us least likely to succeed. But there is a God in heaven who calls the things that be not as though they are, and raises the poor to positions of prominence overnight. Your weight, height, physical looks, level or education or even economic ability may limit you by this world's standards. But, thank God, God looks at the heart, and is not influenced by our sense-ruled parameters.

'It is the Lord's doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes.' Yes, in this new year, I sense that God is going to raise help for us where our natural strenght could have failed. God is going to take you to places that your human qualifications could not take you. It is going to be God's doing. Grace will intervene where human effort and human laws have failed. Glory will take the place of shame. God will open new and effectual doors that will give us the opportunity to glorify him and reap his blessings.

It is the day the Lord has made. I do sense that 2007 is a year God will show up in most unusual ways in our lives and in this world of his. I think that, come 2007, God is going to remind us all in very clear terms that he is still in charge of this earth - not the scientist or business persons, or political leaders. 'The earth is the Lord's and the fullness there of; the people and all that dwell in them' Psalm 24:1.

We will rejoice and be glad in him. God will give us reason, as his children, to rejoice and be glad this new year. 'With joy shall we draw water from the well of salvation.' 'The joy of the Lord is our strenght.' Learn to stir up joy in your heart this coming year. The enemy may try to steal your joy, but don't let him. It is in the place of joy and heart cheer that we receive of His fullness, grace upon grace.

But notice that this huge promise began with the 'upright' principle. Righteousness or uprightness is the gate that leads to God's favor. "Open for me the gates of righteousness; I will enter and give thanks to the LORD. This is the gate of the LORD through which the righteous may enter" Psalm 118: 19-20, NIV. You can not disregard this principle, and still expect to enter the blessings and favor of God. Let us remember to be fair, just and equitable in our dealings with others, and God himself will be committed to your defence and promotion.

These were some of the thoughts that filled my heart this morning. And I hope that they motivate and encourage you as you step into 2007. We are thankful for your friendship, and for the opportunity to share with you all. Happy new year!
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