2024 . . .

We are at the turn of another year. It is somewhat easy to look at what has happened in 2023. It brings memories and emotions, some of which we never anticipated. We did not schedule everything; we just could not have known.

Some of you have stood by as a loved one passed. And some have held the new life born into your family; held them in your arms, but really in your heart. And some are holding in your hearts the beginnings of marriage, or the beginnings of a son’s or daughter’s, grandson’s or granddaughter’s hand as they begin a life with their dearly loved. It is the way of life. God says be blessed. And we are.

We also live in a world that is greatly stressed—tragedies, wars, governmental control, economical tribulation, physical and life-threatening misery, and more. 2023 was a year that tested our faith. Yet Christ never moved away. He remained closer to us than we ever imagined.

There is a song that is frequently sung, Auld Lang Syne. It is Scottish in origin yet adopted over the world. Sung on New Year’s Eve. Most groups of people that sing the song grasp one another’s hands. The song begins with a question: Should old acquaintances be forgotten? Well, no. But there are more questions and observations—added to the old song in recent years. The only thing that remains is the tune.

All Glory Be to Christ

Should nothing of our efforts stand
No legacy survive
Unless the Lord does raise the house
In vain its builders strive

To you who boast tomorrow’s gain
Tell me what is your life
A mist that vanishes at dawn
All glory be to Christ!

All glory be to Christ our king!
All glory be to Christ!
His rule and reign will ever sing
All glory be to Christ!

His will be done
His kingdom come
On earth as is above
Who is Himself our daily bread
Praise Him the Lord of love.

Let living water satisfy
The thirsty without price
We’ll take a cup of kindness yet
All glory be to Christ!

All glory be to Christ our king!
All glory be to Christ!
His rule and reign will ever sing
All glory be to Christ!

When on the day the great I Am
The faithful and the true
The Lamb who was for sinners slain
Is making all things new.

Behold our God shall live with us
And be our steadfast light
And we shall ere his people be
All glory be to Christ!

All glory be to Christ our king!
All glory be to Christ!
His rule and reign will ever sing
All glory be to Christ!

I suspect that I might have heard someone singing. Was that you? You might have paused a little. A little Selah.

Auld Lang Syne is often seen as reference to singing farewell to times, families, neighbors, and loved ones. And often sung without thought about the words, only about the tradition. My prayer is that you might not sing the newer version above, recognizing only things that have past, but sing it because of who you are in Christ, and who you will be in Christ’s eternal home. Yours as well.

I am also trusting that you have read the Bible through this past year. It never gets old. Has a lot to say that is important for our lives and for the ones who cross our path—never by accident. God is eternal—He is always in the present. So, His Word is always fresh and applicable.

If we are honest with ourselves, we tend to live for the things we plan to do or accomplish. Today or tomorrow, we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit—yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a time and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, if the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that –James 4:13-15.

So, this side of heaven, we do not know what life will bring. We get a flavor of eternity in heaven, but just a brief view of its glorious abode. It is coming, yet none of us have a date to offer. Our time this side of heaven is known to God alone. So, God teaches us to number our days so that we will incline our minds and hearts to His wisdom.

That is what we need to watch for as we read the whole of God’s Word in 2024. Every time that I read His Word—every time—I take away something new that applies to my life. My prayer is that it is the same for you.

As usual, we will use a different approach in the 2024 blogs. I trust that the changes in blogs from year-to-year are helpful to you and that you will endeavor to share what God teaches you.

This year marks 16 years for producing a blog. I started with one per month. Then it was two. Now it is weekly. When we get to the Season of Advent this year there will be once again a daily blog as some have requested.

A special friend passed on into glory at the end of 2022. One of his great encouragements was to send folks away with two words. Important words. From his heart. From his very soul. I cannot take his place, but I can prolong his ministry on this side of heaven. He said . . . and I will say as well:

It’s 2024 — Be blessed!

The link below is an opportunity for you to have a schedule for Bible reading in 2024. You can read the Bible on a 5-day plan and make 2024 Your Best Bible Reading Year Yet.

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Written by mlightner@lightcreations.com

January 5, 2024

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