The Close of 2013 and the New Dawn of 2014

As 2013 comes to a close and we usher in the dawning of a new year; I would like to exhort you to focus the eyes of Our heart on our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ as we give thanks for His great faithfulness this past year and His light, love and truth for the year to come.

Facing the dawning of a new year, we remember the painful defeats of the past and the sweet victories that followed those who patiently waited on Christ. We remember the sadness as we also remember joy- we remember each sin committed; each short coming done and the goodness of God that empowered us to stand triumphant. We acknowledge the fall of many who stood with us, the loyalty of the elect and the few who chose to be part of our family again as we stood to rebuild the bridges that were shattered by the enemy. 2013 has been an eventful year; the year where the wheat was separated from the tares. A year that God has purposed to look for those who stand pleasing to Him; for those who are pleasing did remain. It was a year when God added to a number those who were being saved. As we see this year come to close, we look back at the past and learn from our mistakes; as we also look to the present, to our future and see a bright new day arise as we trust in God and abide in Him alone.

2014 comes to us as a year of new beginnings, of relationships being healed; of lives changed and of people who discard the ways of the world and seek to please the King alone. Friends, we were never saved to serve; we were saved to obey; to stand for righteousness as our newness of life moves us to service, to the call set forth by Christ. For no matter how much we serve, how much we do; if our hearts are not contrite, we do not humble ourselves and turn to Christ alone; our sacrifice would not be pleasing to God. Man made ideals to please the Lord does not work to entreat the King for He has set forth His own requirement and to that we bide.

Psalm 51:10-17 – “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit. Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will return to you. Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, O God of my salvation, and my tongue will sing aloud of your righteousness. O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise. For you will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it; you will not be pleased with a burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise”

As I close this message, I would like to share with you a verse that comes to mind in the springing forth of the new year; a prayer in Psalm 90:12

“So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.”

May we learn to number our days as we grasp the opportunity of each new day to be the person God called us to be, shining His light to all regardless of feeling or circumstance. May we number each moment and count each blessing God has given to us as we also stand encouraged to give back and be a blessing to others; and above all may we number our days as we come to that fervent desire and understanding that our purpose this year and all years to come is not some measly resolution, but the singular resolve that grants us to strength to accomplish all that is good: simply put, our resolution should be to please our King. Have a blessed New year, may God’s light and blessing be upon you and your family! Hope you have a wonderful day! – Pastor Lyle “L.A.” Lopez and Family

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