A Prayer for 2007
by Dudley Hall
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord,
"plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to
give you hope and a future." (Jeremiah 29:11)
I have heard several “prophecies” regarding 2007. We all need some basis for our hope. No sane person is hoping for world collapse and bad times. (There are some who seem to look forward to destruction, but their sanity could be in question.) Some suggested that since the year has a seven (7) in it good and complete things will happen. I believe we can expect good things too, but on a bit broader basis. And I might mention that “good” doesn’t always mean easy.
Our God is a good God. He has orchestrated good for us. He has decreed that history moves toward the rescue of his people and the restoration of his creation. He has guided history even through the various good and bad decisions of mankind, to a day when all the hopes of ages past are fulfilled in one man.
This one man represented humanity as the last Adam. He represented Israel as the ultimate Israelite, the Messiah. He took the sins that separate and forever settled the issue. He took the judgment the world’s rebellion deserved and drained it of its accusations. He invaded death’s dark cavern and made it a quiet place to wait for resurrection bodies. He ascended to heaven to sit on the throne reserved for the king of God’s people on earth. He now rules through those representatives on earth as they trust him and operate on his agenda. He has given them the dignity to work with him to complete the mission to rescue his people and restore the creation. He has given them enough information about his future plans to be obedient, but not enough to be arrogant. He has promised on his own character to never leave them alone and never abandon them. He has guaranteed that since he gave them initial faith to trust him for salvation, he will always give faith for any circumstance. They are secure in his promise. He has endowed them with the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead, and given the legal right to use his name to obtain the resources needed to get the job done. He has given them time to embrace this call and this year is the right time.
IT IS A GOOD YEAR! Those who hear and embrace this good news will find themselves caught up in a whole new culture — living to give, begging to serve, bowing to worship, rising to speak -- and ready to die in this wonderful experience of eternal life. And though some watching may call them radical, they will just say, “It is good!” It is a good year because we are loved by a good God. We are involved in good work. We have good partners in service. We will wake with anticipation each day to see the mercy of God revealed in us.
Someone asked me recently to identify my overriding passion. I can think of several things that would sound pious like prayer, worship, Bible study, or ministry. Maybe those should be our passion, but right now I honestly would say I have been captured by the gospel as portrayed in the New Testament. I believe it exalts Jesus in a way that supernaturally transforms those who hear it. It presents Jesus as God’s glory. It makes sense of the rest of history. It gives hope to all who have been defeated by the lies from hell. It is worthy to give your life for. It is the most powerful thing humans can handle. We are energized when we talk about it. We are enlightened when we read it. We are empowered when we share it because we want every person to hear it. Every Christian must unpack it, every sermon must feature it and every preacher is in love with it.
It is what the young must embrace if they are to ever find their destiny. It is what every baby-boomer must rediscover if they are to make any difference in their lifetime. It alone offers change for those snared by powers beyond their control. It should be the theme of our singing, the subject of our conversations and the reason for our living.
It doesn’t need to be manipulated in order to be relevant. It doesn’t need to be “spun” in order to be marketed. It doesn’t require additions or subtractions to make it attractive. It needs to be identified and announced. It does its own work. We have sufficient numbers of vocational ministers. I don’t think we need more people offering religious platitudes and dispensing good advice. We need to see Jesus as the central figure of God’s world. His story needs to be told with relevance and confidence. If we ignore it, we will burn ourselves out trying to do what the gospel would have done if given a chance.
It is good news to the lost and better news to the saved. Most have heard enough rules, regulations and ritual to last more than a life time. They are hungry to hear the good news of God’s purpose being fulfilled by God’s Son for the benefit of God’s people on God’s earth. I think if you hang around it you will catch the passion too. This is our prayer.
Ask yourself how 2007 can be a special year for you through the power of the Good News of Jesus Christ. Dedicate every month, every week and every day to living a life secure in the grace of God´s love for you and His purpose in your life.
"Father, give me a renewed passion for your Word as lived out through your son, Jesus Christ. Show me how to share that passion with those around me."
Submitted 2/26/2007 11:22:58 AM | Author: Dudley Hall