Pastor’s Pen

Pastor’s Pen: Make 2023 A Year Of Faith!                by: Rev. Jon Carlson

36 You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. 37 For, ‘In just a little while, he who is coming will come and will not delay.’ 38 And, ‘But my righteous one will live by faith. And I take no pleasure in the one who shrinks back.’ 39 But we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved” (Hebrews 10:36-39).

This passage comes right after the writer encourages us to persevere in our faith, even if it means facing great ridicule and suffering, because we know that we will be rewarded in the end. It’s becoming increasingly harder to live an authentic Christian life in today’s world and to go against the flow of our culture. It’s easier to shrink back than to stand on God’s Word.

We just celebrated Jesus’ birth, and I tried to imagine being there when He came to earth. To anticipate His arrival, not knowing when He would come. Then suddenly, He’s here! Everyone was going about their regular business, not realizing the world had changed forever.

As we embark on a new year, we’re getting closer to when Jesus will come again. He is coming “in just a little while.” He will come “like a thief in the night” (1 Thess. 5:2). Just like when He was born, most people will not be expecting Him when He returns. And that moment will once again change everything. Those who shrink back will be destroyed; those who have faith will be saved.

It’s time to clean house. It’s time to reprioritize. As you read this poem, imagine what it will be like when He returns, and whether your life is in order. Listen to the Holy Spirit speak to you, so you can make 2023 a Year of Faith and live ready for His return!

‘Twas the night before Jesus came and all through the house,        

Not a creature was praying, not one in the house.

Their Bibles were lain on the shelf without care,

In hopes that Jesus would not come there.

The children were dressing to crawl into bed,    

Not once ever kneeling or bowing a head.

And Mom in her rocker with baby on her lap,

  Was watching the Late Show while I took a nap.

When out of the East there arose such a clatter,

  I sprang to my feet to see what was the matter.

Away to the window I flew like a flash,

  Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash!

When what to my wondering eyes should appear,

  But angels proclaiming that Jesus was here.

With a light like the sun sending forth a bright ray,

I knew in a moment this must be THE DAY!

The light of His face made me cover my head.

  It was Jesus! Returning, just like He had said.

And though I possessed worldly wisdom

and wealth,

  I cried when I saw Him in spite of myself.

In the Book of Life which He held in His hand,

  Was written the name of every saved man.

He spoke not a word as He searched for my name;

  When He said, “It’s not here” my head hung in shame.

The people whose names had been written with love,

  He gathered to take to His Father above.

With those who were ready, He rose without a sound,

  While all the rest were left standing around.

I fell to my knees, but it was too late;

  I had waited too long and thus sealed my fate.

I stood and I cried as they rose out of sight;

  Oh, if only I had been ready tonight.

In the words of this poem the meaning is clear;

  The coming of Jesus is drawing near.

There’s only one life and when comes the last call,

  We’ll find that the Bible was true after all!