Pastoral Letter January 2018

“The Lord redeems the soul of His servants, and none of those who trust in Him shall be condemned” — Psalm 34:22

Dear Friends,

Our ‘New Year Text’  is  Psalm 34:8, and we will be considering this verse and others on New Year’s Eve. But let me draw your attention to the last verse in the Psalm, which speaks to us of fresh hope for a new year!

Building upon those things we have considered when gathered together (the call to taste, or try, and trust the Lord, and the fact that the Lord’s ears are open to our prayers) King David concludes by inspiration of the Holy Spirit with this great encouragement to all who trust in the Lord.

Here are three thoughts to carry into a new year:

1. We have a redeeming God

In the person of Jesus Christ our Saviour, we have a God who has entered our world of sin and shame to rescue and help us. He has redeemed us — that is, He has paid the price to release us from captivity. We have been set free, eternally. Our souls are redeemed! How much should we rejoice!

2. We have an unfailing God

You might say ‘that’s true, but it’s not in the text’. I rather think it is! It says ‘none of those…’  As we’ve recently been seeing from the book of Joshua, nobody was left behind when the Jordan was crossed, every single person intended to inhabit the Land of Promise arrived there.
Have you placed your trust in Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour? Do you believe on Him, that He died to atone for sin, and that the Father has raised Him from the dead? If so, He cannot fail you, for He is Almighty God. Not one sinner believes on Him in vain. Not one will cry out to Him and remain unheard, as a favourite hymn says:
The sinner that truly believes,

And trusts in the crucified God,

A pardon at once then receives,

Redemption in full through His blood

(Joseph Hart)

3. We have an exalting God
Again, where is this before us? Well, not one of us shall be condemned! Indeed, we shall be exalted, vindicated, blessed — the very opposite. There is ‘no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus’ (Romans 8) , but instead, the promise of an ‘inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you’ (1 Peter 1:4). Friends, we need to be reminded of these wonderful truths that bring us fresh hope, or refreshed hope, at the start of a New Year. May we go forth with courage, confidence, and joy!

 

J.D.H.

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