PRESS on...

As you've started 2019, and you look back at 2018, what would you do differently this year than you did last year? Are there some mistakes you made last year, which have maybe caused you to have regret or shame? Are there heartaches you are sitting with, that you don't know how to get over, or problems you don't know how to resolve? Maybe you face very difficult choices right now and you are unsure of what to do next.

God promises very clearly in the Bible that if we totally surrender to Him and keep our minds, hearts and lives focused on Him, that He will never leave us nor forsake us. {Heb. 13:5} He promises that when we truly and sincerely seek His forgiveness, that He is willing to forgive us and remove our sins from us, as far as the east is from the west. {Psalm 103:12}

Wow! What a mighty God we serve, who "never slumbers nor sleeps but who watches over ALL our comings and goings now and forever." {Psalm 121}

So what should we do, to not make the same mistakes we made last year? How can we grow and mature into being more Christ-like this year? Paul, who persecuted the church and Christians, until he dramatically met Jesus and turned his life over to the ONLY One who can save us and set us free from bondage, gives us some hints in Phil 3:12-14. He wrote; "Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us."

That is the secret, to never give up, to press on, and in to Jesus and to a renewed life...on to Eternity with Him!

Peter advises us in 2 Peter 1:5 - 7; "For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love..."

Being a real, genuine Christian is not for cowards. Being true to Jesus, is for people who can press on towards the goal set before them, people who can make every effort to persevere in developing characteristics which are godly and righteous. Jesus Himself said in Luke 9:23 - ""Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow Me."

Our crosses are not heavy when we compare them to the painful and agonizing cross that Jesus was crucified on for our sakes. The world was so dirty, but praise the Lord that God's Son, Jesus, was obedient and He did what no one else could do - He died for each and every one of us, in a death so painful that He cried out to His father in heaven' "My God, why have You forsaken Me?" But it was only for a moment - God wept for His Son's agony but He loves us so much that He gave His ONLY Son...imagine - His one and only Son, so that, through the resurrection of that Son, Jesus, you and I can also know life, real abundant life in ALL its joy, peace, love and fulfilment!

May we really press on and make every effort to commune with our Lord every day, seek His face in prayer and reading the Bible, and shine for Him! "Know that the LORD is God. It is HE who made us, and we are His; we are His people, the sheep of His pasture." {Psalm 100:3}