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Expectations for a New Year.

Every January as we begin a new year, we start with asking the question with no concrete answer:

“ What will this year be like?” After just a few weeks in, we just continue on like nothing has changed; there is nothing new under the sun.

This year of 2023 has some spiritual challenges for the body of Christ. We hear so much in the news, in

the social media feeds, in the conversations with believers and non-believers alike. It oftentimes overwhelms us with too much information. Much of what we hear, we have no authority over. Some things are the result of poor judgement or bad choices.

Other things are the effects of decisions made decades ago that have brought consequences today.

As believers we are not immune from the cultural, financial and natural pressures brought to bear in our day. “The rain falls on the just and the unjust.” (Matt. 5:45) The thing that makes us different is the way we respond to the pressures we face. So then, the questions to be asked are, “How should I respond? What am I to do that makes me a true follower of Jesus?”

The answer: Christ in you the hope of glory. (Col.1:27)

Jesus is in you when you invite Him in at salvation. He desires to shine through you and increase in you

as you walk with Him daily. Let His light shine through you all day long every day. This accomplished by reading the Word consistently, worshipping Him faithfully,

and inviting the Holy Spirit to lead you continually.

The more time spent with Him, the more we become like Him in all ways.

Our prayers accomplish the work of heaven on earth. We lift the things of earth up to God and He releases the things of heaven to earth. Jesus Himself makes intercession for us continually. (Rom. 8:34)

As we pray often we are encouraged. We receive hope, joy, love for others, circumstances that change.

We become the tangible body of Jesus to a lost and dying world. When others look at us they see Jesus.

We become the love that others need. We become the hope they need to see and hear. We become the

light of Jesus to them in darkness. We become peace in the difficulties because He dwells in us.

So, what will this year be like? It’s totally up to you.

Our challenge: to become more like Christ, Christ in you alive and active!

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