A Message from Pastor

No Second Chances
Revelation 21: 5, "And he who was seated on the throne said, "Behold, I am making all things new."  Also he said, "Write this down, For these words are trustworthy and true."

      ​"Behold, I make all things new." (Revelation 21:5)  ​Every January we promise ourselves a new start.  A new year has begun, and we often resolve to do things this year that will make us wealthier, healthier, or happier than last year.  We make New Years a time to forget all our faults, and failures, and disappointments of the previous year, and to start with a clean slate.  With hope and high expectations we begin a new year feeling cleansed of the old year, and ready to start anew.

     Statistics, however, show that by February most of our New Year's resolutions have already been broken, or are really starting to be questioned.  Do I really want to put myself through this?  The new leaf we intended to turn over seems to blend right back into the same rut we were in last year.  Our second chance, our chance to start over suddenly hasn't seemed to be very beneficial to us, because this time we did the same thing we did the last time we had a second chance to start over.

      We love the idea of having a second chance. but most often we just end up needing another second chance.  The Lord, however, is not a God of second chances, or second opportunities.  He does not promise us a new start every January.  He does not merely forget all faults, and failures of the previous year, so that we can start with a clean slate .  That would mean that Jesus' death and resurrection had not saved us from sin, but simply gave us a second chance to save ourselves.  For a second chance there would be no guarantee that we would succeed.  

     ​No, the Lord give us much more than a chance.  He gives us a promise in which we can believe, and be confident. The Lord says, ​"Behold, I make all things new." ​As believers in Christ we need not wonder whether we will succeed or fail at making our lives new, and different and better this year.  The Lord himself promises us that He will make our lives and all things new, perfect, without blemish.  We have much more than just a chance to make our lives new, and better.  We have the Lord's promise that he has forgiven all our faults and failures of the previous year, and that he continues to make all things new.  God didn't leave our salvation to chance, or to our own attempts to keep trying year after year to finally live a life free from sin.  Rather through Christ's death for our sins and our Baptism into Christ and his death we have been united to Christ in such a complete and full way that all our faults and failures and sins became Christ's and he died with him on the cross.  ​Romans 6:3, "do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?  We were buried therefore with him by baptism in death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in the newness of life.  For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall be united with him in a resurrection like his."  ​God left nothing to chance, but in Christ he has made us a new creation covered with the perfect life of Christ and utterly emptied of all the sins and failures of years gone by.  Not only are we assured that our year will be perfect in Christ, but also that our new year's will never end.  May your new year be filled with the Lord's promise, "Behold, I make all things new.

--Pastor Bontke


                  A FEW GOOD WORDS

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