What a wonderful opportunity to enter into a new beginning. Personally, I looked forward to 2011 with great anticipation. The last six months of 2010 carried challenges and calamities for me. Among them: a husband in the hospital for two weeks, a severely sprained foot, a fractured wrist (compound fracture and crushed bone that required surgery and insertion of plate), a troublesome infection; stress of being a 24/7 caregiver, personal attack, high blood pressure, a hospital stay just before Christmas that pronounced a heart attack which prayer immediately reversed, reactions in the hospital from medications that made me very sick, and finally, a fall (also in the hospital) that left me looking like I had been in a prize fight and lost? That entire five-day experience left me in a worse state that the former.
Some of you prayed for me and I want to thank you for your love and concern. It was so appreciated. By the way, I give praise to my Lord who was with me and sustained me. He healed me and gave me back my energy.
On December 6th, my 75th birthday, I finished the piano recording that had been started before the fall. My wrist was in a cast and brace for almost 3 months. God requires us to believe Him and I firmly believe that we “call those things that be not as though they were,” according to Romans 4:17. Therefore, I started to practice even with my wrist in a brace. No one can ever take away from me the greatness and goodness of my Savior who guides and directs us. What an awesome healing God!
Praise the Lord that He gives opportunities for a new start every day. Challenges of life are just a little bump in the road. God tells us that His mercies are new every morning! As believers, we receive many marvelous gifts. Among them: salvation, faith, love, the Power of His Word, the gift of the empowering Holy Spirit, gifts of the Holy Spirit, answers to prayer; the privilege of praise and worship; the hope of His return and Heaven for eternity, etc.
I consider repentance as a special gift! Why? Because, of the blessing of a fresh renewal. When we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us and “wipe the slate or our heart clean.”
“What then?” – should be our response? The Word that comes to me for this issue is “continue.” We may go through difficult days and the Word tells us we will, but there is always sunshine and blessings on the other side. If we love the Lord and want to honor Him, there is one who hates us and will use every device to try to bring us down. However, mark it down, we know our enemy is a defeated foe. Jesus tells us that we are NOT to be terrified (fearful or discouraged) of our adversary (Philippians 1:28) for his destination, as well as all his demon cohorts, is Hell and he knows it. Jesus defeated satan on the cross through His precious blood; thereby giving us authority over all the enemy’s evil work according to Luke 10:19. Unfortunately, there are times when we just blow it! So if we fall, then we get up through the power of God and continue.
Let us consider the power of this word “continue.” Remember, Scripture is our authority for life. My personal goal is to always read three chapters daily and the aim is ten. Reading (prefer reading out loud) three chapters per day is really very easy. Not once, when reading the Word, have I failed to be blessed and learn something to meditate upon. The Bible is the powerful, anointed Word of Almighty God and it penetrates deep into our heart and soul giving encouragement, direction and hope for our daily needs.
That was a good little rabbit trail! On with the study of our word “continue.”
The English meaning of this word is:
· To remain in a state, or place; to abide for any time indefinitely.
· To last; to be durable; to endure; to be permanent.
· Thy kingdom shall not continue. 1 Samuel 13.
· To persevere; to be steadfast or constant in any course.
· To protract; not to cease from or to terminate.
· To extend from one thing to another; to produce or draw out in length. Continue the line from A to B. Let the line be continued to the boundary.
· To persevere in; not to cease to do or use; as, to continue the same diet.
· To hold to or unite.
The Greek meaning of the word “continue”- NT:3306 meno:
· To stay
· Be present.
We are told exactly how to continue in the Word of God:
We are to continue…
· In the Word (John 8:31).
· In the love of Jesus (John 15:9).
· In grace (Acts 13:43).
· In faith (Acts 14:22).
· Relying upon His help (Acts 26:22).
· To be dead to sin (Romans 6:1).
· In the goodness of God (Romans 11:22.)
· In the Truth of the Gospel (Galatians 2:5).
· In prayer (Colossians 4:2).
· Watch with thanksgiving (Colossians 4:2).
· To be careful in our doctrine (1 Timothy 4:16).
· In the things we have learned about God (2 Timothy 3:14).
· In brotherly love (Heb 13:1).
· Abiding in a close relationship to Jesus (2 John 2:24).
Here it is summarized: “If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed (John 8:31).
May I say, that to continue, means that we act upon what God says to us. It is not enough to read and believe, but the key is doing and speaking the Word into action.
This above Truth will keep us busy until He returns! Isn’t Scripture so easy to follow and understand?
My friend, whatever you are going through, there are blessings awaiting you. Never doubt. Release yourself from all fear, doubt and unforgiveness. My prayer for you which I also personalize for myself every day: “For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness; Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son.” Colossians 1:9-13.